Termite Art for Terminators

For a show with such a substantial title -- Hyper-Spatial Sentient Sopper Serum Scillystrations of Morph-Feral-Foglet-Fabbed Smart-Gels and Quacker-Cast Dataclouds of Public Panopticon Powder on Airborne Algorithmicracked-Out Recreational Diseases -- Shane Hope's exhibit at the Schroeder Romero / Winkleman Gallery Project Space in New York is easy to miss. Mounted in the short, cramped hallway connected the Schroeder Romero to the adjacent Winkleman gallery, it consists of hand-drawn museum-style wall plaques, each marked with a paper tag, as if the actual contents of the exhibit had been moved or borrowed. Upon closer inspection, the story told is much weirder: each absent artwork and its plaque appear to be from an art exhibit decades in the future. One piece entitled Going Splaces is "attributed to endLoc_encod*rk" and is said to consist of "Non-rival routing hyper-spatial wormhole in floating sheet of veiny tissue culture"; its tag claims that the artwork itself was removed for "interspecies study." Another work named How to Display Trans-Substrational Smartificial-Stoop-Ditty Cystemics Sic Schtick Ball, dated from 2066, by getArtistTrace (is that a name or a glitch?) purports to be made of an "airborne recreational disease induced qulinked crystalline rod matrix manifold pushed psy-pry pub-moldy foldies on a seeing-eye orb." This "Gift of cRo0k{$uE^Y1@, 2080.8.54" has been taken away due to "Quarantine/Immunizations." Spoofing both the cryptic inflations of contemporary art-speak and the rapid linguistic-mutations wrought by technological change (imagine explaining "text-messaging" or "phone pictures" to a time-traveler from 1985), Hope's whacked-out art-as-language-game has a warmly and disjunctively retro Joycean feel, but also alludes to the heretofore seldom-asked question of what art will be like in a post-Singularity existence. - Ed Halter