Entering from the fat end of tunnel, I stare down its length to view the projected image: branching straw-colored fibers revolving in the unhurried fashion of a carousel. They’re not quite recognizable, but neither are they unfamiliar. They remind me of dendrites splitting off from a neuron, partly because the resolution has about it that cloudy/sharp dichotomy and uniform coloring (or lack thereof) I associate with electron microscope images.
It is in fact the digital model of a plant, although you’d be excused for not identifying it as such straight away. Pae White, with the help of an animator and visual effects artist, scanned the original and then proceeded to tweak the image and set it in motion. As it pirhouettes, the limbs fold in upon one another, collapsing and expanding in kaleidoscope fashion. Inside the trapezoidal structure installed within New Langton Arts’ second floor gallery space the glass walls reflect the forking growths tumbling and morphing. Recognition plays a part in In Between the Outside-In, but perhaps only in so far as to intimate that what we thought we knew isn’t as matter-of-fact as we’d like to believe, or that there are ways of knowing that have yet to be exhausted.
As you can imagine, White’s mixed-media work is really an experience more than it is a work. You need to get inside the Willy Wonka-esque edifice yourself to fully appreciate the artist’s ability to make the mundane appear so alien. Elsewhere in the gallery, projected against a wall, is another example of the fruits of White’s experimentation, this one appearing like languid tendrils of smoke. Patience is required for the works to achieve their full effect, but that probably won’t be a problem: only the most phlegmatic of individuals, coming up the stairs and turning their head wouldn’t be drawn into the weird organic psychedelic constructions.