Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s work centers around establishing physical and conceptual environments. Using digital visualizations, photographs, animations, models , everyday objects, texts and graphics, Bayraktar focuses on the behavior of natural and artificial systems, their occlusion points, boundaries, collapses, mutations, and how we make sense of them. These systems consist of organizations ranging from spontaneous urban plants to exoplanets, which are quite different in terms of content but have similar systemic principles.
The artist is particularly interested in what vitality is and how a living system maintains its continuity in the environment. Bayraktar’s latest exhibition, “Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words” (2019, Sanatorium) was structured on visualizing how the entire effort of understanding evolved similarly with semiotics and language, by focusing on geological and biological processes, problematizing life’s nature as a network of relationships, and revealing the compulsory connections of digital and physical beings with matter and energy resources of the world. The exhibition featured forms that problematize dichotomies such as digital/analog, life/death or animate/inanimate.
The artist’s work often refers to self-organization methods of objects such as copying and variation, and to cultural and ideological classifications such as categorization. In the video titled “Mimicry” (2017), which reveals the similarities between biological copying mechanisms and industrial mass production methods, the interaction between a machine and a living being in an orchid production facility is notable. In the series “Circus” (2013), animal visualizations featuring the same sign repeating itself in different colors and textures indicates the relationship between biodiversity and the economy of computer games. In the series “Some Potentially Uninhabitable Planets” (2019), the diversity issue is tackled with exoplanet illustrations. The illustrations consist of pseudo-scientific interpretations of dead planets, which discuss the probability of matter getting organized, the chances of some of this organized matter to contain life, and the ideological ways of representing the quest for life. In the video and image titled “Phases of Nix” (2019), which discusses a similar issue through time, the artist makes an effort to create an impossible calendar of a natural satellite that performs chaotic turns around itself. Coincidence and spontaneity, movement and stability, cycles and oscillations, and images about expansions in space are among the basic elements that determine the flow in Bayraktar’s videos.
The artist’s repertoire has recently expanded to include elements from the popular culture. Works that focus on zombies or stuffed animals made in China, re-question the relationship between life, movement and consciousness through these hybrid beings.
“Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words“, Kevser Güler
“Mapping and functionality in Bayraktar’s work“, Yagiz Ozgen