Parallel Universe


The symbolically powerful and emotional practice of New Zealand-born, London-based artist Nicholas Tayler has greatly impacted the British art scene. His work, once described as a 'mythical vision' of the world, explores the irrational dimensions of human experience. Presented by London's ICA, The Parallels Almanac is Tayler's latest online project. The piece takes the form of a pre-enlightenment almanac, equally comprised of both conjecture and established knowledge, in order to tell the Maori warrior tale "Kupe and the Whale". An uncanny and multi-layered universe to itself, the site is a complex network of film, photography, drawing, text, and audio accessed via charts. The user uncovers the storyline for "Kupe and the Whale" through navigation of the site's manifold areas, which present various items such as photographs of traditional ritual knives, audio commentary by Tayler, and textual definitions of terms like "global architectures". By pairing scientific methodology with speculative mysticism, The Parallels Almanac is a perceptive allegory for the present day search for the metaphysical in an anxious and confusing post- 9/11 world. - Miguel Amado