Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words 
Kayalar ve Rüzgarlar, Mikroplar ve Kelimeler

English & Turkish ISBN: 978-605-031-178-5 © 2019, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar
Editör / Editor: Kevser Güler
Metinler / Texts: Asuman Susam, Gaye Çankaya Eksen, Kevser Güler, Sergen Şehitoğlu
Grafik tasarım / Graphic design: Dilara Sezgin
Çeviri / Translation: Ulya Soley, Jorela Karriqi
Baskı / Printing: Umur Basım
Yayıncı / Publisher: SANATORIUM

Kitap fotoğrafları / Book photos: Zeynep Fırat

Skins, 2019
computer generated images (modelling & photogrammetry), transparency in lightbox, metal & cable
276 x 255 cm
Installation design: Buşra Tunç

Skins” (2019) comprises of digitally rendered portraits of various beings. Posing questions on how we perceive stillness, life, and death, the installation invites the viewer to look at the stillness of different modes of existences such as plant, animal, and object. It doesn’t see stillness as a passive, stagnant state, instead, it re-considers it as a state that presently accomodates processes of being and formation of all historical, complex relations of earth, as a state that carries a potential for unpredictable change. The state of the digital image is also re-interpreted with this work in the context of complex modes of existences of our day. The installation invites us to accept materialistic, spatial, and technical relations of the actual digital image. It also makes reference to principles of taxonomy and today’s dystopic seed banks structures. The work, with individual figures rendered at different moments making an impression to see time as individual moments, also communicates formally with concepts such as separatedness and discontunity which are the main principles and modes of existences of the digital image.”

-Kevser Güler, 2019

Kayalar ve Rüzgârlar, Mikroplar ve Kelimeler’ de sergilenen yapıtlardan, “Tenler (Skins)” (2019) çeşitli varlıkların dijital olarak resmedilmiş portrelerinden oluşuyor. Hareketsizliği, yaşamı ve ölümü nasıl kavradığımız ile ilgili soruları davet eden yerleştirme izleyiciyi bitki, hayvan ve nesne gibi varoluş biçimlerinin durağanlığına bakmaya davet ediyor. Durağanlığı atıl ve pasif olma durumu olarak görmüyor; yeryüzünün tüm tarihi ve karmaşık ilişkilerini içeren oluş ve biçimlenme süreçlerini halihazırda içeren ve aynı zamanda öngörülemez bir değişim potansiyelini taşıyan bir durum olarak yeniden düşünüyor. “Tenler”de dijital imgenin konumu da günümüzdeki karmaşık varoluş içinde tekrar okunuyor. Yerleştirme, güncel dijital imgenin maddesel, mekansal ve teknik ilişkilerini teslim etmeye davet ediyor. Yapıt taksonomi prensiplerine veya bugünün distopik tohum bankası yapılarına da referanslar barındırıyor. Bu tek tek ayrışmış figürlerle, zamanı da ayrık anlar olarak görmeye dair bir izlenim uyandıran farklı anlarda resmedilmiş aynı varlıkları kullanarak, dijital imgenin var oluş koşullarından ve ana prensiplerinden olan ayrıklık ve süreksizlik gibi kavramlarla da biçimsel olarak bir iletişim kuruyor.

-Kevser Güler, 2019

Respiration, 2019, animation, 5’24”

“Respiration” (2019) is a video gathering encyclopedic definitions and concepts of historical relations and effects of oxygen respiration on earth. Throughout the video artist’s text is read as voice-over. With this voice in the background, we see an unidentifiable topography evoking post-apocalyptic landscapes of post-Big Oxidation Event ice age, displaying movements of ambulances identified with emergency in urban life, trapped in repetition. With images of death, accident, and unavoidable continuity of uncertainty, the work creates a computer game atmosphere dur to the digital drawing method used by the artist. In his most recent works, Kerem takes the ambulance as an intersection of various modes of existences and processes in the history of earth such as death, energy, life, technology, and language. According to him, the ambulance is an element that complexifies questions on naturality of an artefact, inanimateness of an object, and the life-death relation. Its etymological root being ambulare in Latin, meaning to walk, to move, triggers images of the idea of “motion” which is inherent in its definition. Ambulance, being a motor vehicle, needing energy to move like living beings, uses fossil fuel as energy source that is combusted with oxygen in its engine system. And fossil fuels are remains of dead organisms, living beings.”
- Kevser Güler
2019 Rocks and winds, germs and words
ed. Kevser Güler, Sanatorium, Istanbul

The emergence of oxygen, which caused the death of many life forms, brought human beings to the world, along with its current inhabitants. When the world was about half of its present age, photosynthesis by cyanobacteria enabled oxygen to spread into the atmosphere and the development of multicellular organisms. Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, in his work “Respiration”, conveys the relationship he established between life and death with a section he presented after the Great Oxidation Event. Death, which is seen as the final stop of all living beings, does not fulfill the last task regarding extinction from the earth and constitutes the steps of the movement. The ambulances in the artist’s work, which are associated with the moments when life is at risk, need energy to move like everything else. The living organisms of time transform over the years and get into circulation of the earth in different states of matter. The original cell that makes up all other cells continues to disintegrate and come together in the infinite form it takes on

- Nursaç Sargon
2020, Monitör İzmir


2021 Digital Aura Open Media Art Festival, The Oil Tank Culture Park, Seoul
2020 PROYECTOR´20 / Festival de Videoarte, Sala El Águila, Madrid 
2020 I haven’t told my garden yet, Monitör İzmir
2019 Openhaus (October), 2019, ZK/U, Berlin
2019 A Horn in the Neck, Apartment Project Berlin2019 Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words, Sanatorium, Istanbul

State, 2018-19, variable dimensions, mixed material, scale models

The installation features group of scluptures resembling various emergency vehicles and rocky shapes scattered on the ground.
The artist takes inspiration from biosemiotics, using symbols typically associated with emergency vehicles, such as lines, red dots, and crosses, to recontextualize these marks as representations of genetic material or biological signals. The transformation and mutation of these objects, marked by emergency signals and other alterations, emphasize the parallels between genetic material transfer and the evolution of cultural signs and symbols.
By adapting and abstracting the emergency symbols on the vehicle sculptures, the artist extends the original meaning of these symbols and alludes to the evolution of traits in living organisms. In doing so, the artwork fosters a perspective on the relationship between the cultural and biological, as well as the living and non-living.
Great Oxidation Event, digital prints, 2019

(…) With the “Big Oxidation Event” (2019) diagram, Kerem presents a multi-layered map of relations traversing complex interactions of oxygen in the history of earth, an element which is today identified with life and clean air by humans. On a macro scale, this relations map shows human, oxygen, plant, animal, motor, bacteria as nothing but elements that have different interactions at different moments in the context of certain processes and fluxus. It is not possible to spot a center in this process or system. Furthermore, definitions of absolute good, bad, useful, harmful are not possible within these interactions; we can only seek answers to questions of what has affected whom, when and in which direction. Consequently, this diagram directly precludes the romantic idea of nature. It presents the extinction of living beings within biological and physical processes that caused the emergence of oxygen in the world; use of oxygen in motor vehicles; fossils used as fuel and emerging in oxygen-free environments, with a crowded sign system resembling the ones used in science textbooks. Illustrations, texts, symbols are intertwined to explain some phenomena, making things more and more complex which results in vain efforts and an accumulation of information where establishing wholistic relations becomes impossible. As the terms on the diagram refer to each other, the whole becomes a self-referential system of meanings. Language and sign inevitably exist as part of this historical, materialistic, dynamic process.

– Kevser Güler, 2019