Tue. 23.02.21 / 12 am Online Launch: "A World Where Flowers Reign" by Laura U. Marks
In response to The Upper Side of the Sky and Posterity & Expatriation by Jawa El Khash, Curated by Dana Qaddah
"Two towering crystalline poppies guard the temple of Al-Lat. As we approach the temple, there are flashes of light, like an unseen presence. The air shimmers with wireframe camellias and crescents, moving in unison like swallows, their petals sharp as swords. A floral force-field. Al-Lat was one of the goddesses worshipped by Arab peoples before Mohammed destroyed the idols at Mecca. (Al-lat is “the god” in Arabic in feminine form, while Allah is “the god” in masculine form, and in monotheism, "the God"). It strikes me that these scintillating figures are the rejected deities returned, pissed off at humans but still prepared to do favours and be adored. Have they now turned their attention to the flowers and butterflies? Inside the temple towers a single flower, a five-petaled lily, languidly moving its petals. Each of the orb-like anthers, glowing against the black petals, is a wireframe map of the starry sky. If you traveled into this lily, you would be traveling out to the farthest stars. Like those fecund motifs on garden carpets, this marvelous flower encloses the entire cosmos!"
— Excerpt from Laura U. Marks's "A World Where Flowers Reign"
Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week announces the launch of "A World Where Flowers Reign" by Dr. Laura U. Marks in response to The Upper Side of the Sky (October 12, 2020-April 30, 2021), an online VR exhibition by Jawa El Khash, curated by Dana Qaddah, and Posterity & Expatriation, a conversation between by Jawa El Khash and Dana Qaddah that took place on Saturday, November 28, 2020.
Full response is available here: https://archivesweek.ca/events/the-upper-side-of-the-sky
Event transcription of Posterity and Expatriation is available here: https://archivesweek.ca/events/posterity-and-expatriation-a-conversation-between-jawa-el-khash-and-dana-qaddah
Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image  and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art . With Azadeh Emadi, she is a founding member of the Substantial Motion Research Network of artists and scholars working on cross-cultural approaches to media technologies. She programs experimental media art for venues around the world and is the founder of the Small File Media Festival. Marks is Grant Strate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.