WorkInfo
Energetics

PACE Gallery

January 12 — February 24, 2024

The title “Energetics” comes from a segment of physics focused on flows and transformations of energy. Enactments of glowing, burning, blooming, and dying recur across the gallery space, which become a stage for spiritual and physical transfigurations, traversing digital and ancient temporalities. The acute shifts in the sizes of the works in the show—in relation to human scale—draw attention to our staggeringly infinitesimal existence in the context of geologic and technological time. With her new works, Tajima questions what it means to be an individual within this deep time continuum and, in this contemporary moment, amid the inexorable rise of big data.

Upon entering the gallery, visitors first experience a scent—which incorporates various ingredients used in ancient divination practices—emitted from a pyramidal incense sculpture. Initiating viewers into the presentation, this ambient olfactory element serves to open the mind and to remind one of existence through the senses.

Anchoring the show are large-scale textile paintings from the artist’s ongoing Negative Entropy series. For this body of work, the artist has worked with neurosurgeons specializing in repairing the brain through energetic stimulation and activation. Auditory maps of the brain’s activity are translated into visual representations of sound waves (spectrograms) to which Tajima assigns colors. The latest Negative Entropy compositions—produced in collaboration with an experimental textile lab in the Netherlands—are rendered at an entirely new, expansive scale. As such, these woven spectrograms, forged from virtually imperceptible records of brain activity, speak to the expansiveness of human potential.

Tajima also presents Sense Object (January 1, 2023, United States) as part of Energetics—a portrait of the national sentiment in the United States on January 1, 2023, compressed within a 5d memory crystal. To create this work, the artist collected data from social media on that day, analyzing the sentiments of text-based posts by American users. Made with optoelectronics technology, the massive amount of data is represented as 24 small squares within a cloud image and inscribed into a tiny disc-shaped optical crystal, which balances atop rose quartz. Captured and locked away forever, the data laser etched within the image of the cloud becomes a memorial of sorts, an ode to the abstract, intangible nature of our digital selves.

Three rose quartz sculptures from Tajima’s Pranayama series, a body of work in which the artist has pierced wood or marble surfaces with bronze nozzles cast from real Jacuzzi jets, will be included in the exhibition as well. The locations of punctures in the stones are loosely based on diagrams of bodily pressure points for acupuncture treatment, a traditional wellness technique used to control and direct unknowable life force. With her new rose quartz Pranayama sculptures, Tajima taps into the material’s associations with new age beliefs and aesthetics as well as its ability to produce electrical reactions. Meditating on mysterious flows and releases of energy in bodies, objects, and spaces, these practices that expose interiority and systematize abstract life functions are analogous to technology’s imperative to understand, regulate, and shape human activity.

New sculptural works that incorporate live flowers also explore these ideas of life energy and breath. Transfused with UV fluorescence, the flowers will glow in the exhibition, emitting light as they die. For Tajima, the ephemeral and performative dimensions of these works reflect the constantly fluctuating state of the natural, built, and digital worlds that we inhabit and create.

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‘Naturans’ during Week 4 at PACE Gallery. Photographed by Peter Clough and Phoebe d’Heurle
‘Naturans’ during Week 6 at PACE Gallery. Photographed by Melissa Goodwin.
Detail of ‘Naturans’ during Week 7 at PACE Gallery. Photographed by Peter Clough.
Detail of ‘Naturans’ during Week 7 at PACE Gallery. Photographed by Peter Clough.
Detail of ‘Naturans’ during Week 7 at PACE Gallery. Photographed by Peter Clough.
Detail of ‘Naturans’ during Week 3 at PACE Gallery. Photographed by Peter Clough.
‘Naturans’ at PACE Gallery at the end of week one.
Detail of ‘Naturans’ at PACE Gallery.
Detail of ‘Naturans’ at PACE Gallery.
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Negative Entropy (Deep Brain Stimulation, Yellow, Full Width, Hex)
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Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough
Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough
Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough
Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough
Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough
Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough
Installation view of ‘Energetics’ at Pace New York, 2024. Photo by Peter Clough