SAINT Y2K by Matthew Lessner 2020

Saint y2k

SAINT Y2K invites participants to make a series of choices, which can lead to thousands of possible combinations in real-time. It is an interactive and active encounter between the viewer and a work of art. A custom program has been designed to dynamically assemble hours of filmed and animated material ad infinitum by combining user input with elements of early phase AI.

“In a way, SAINT Y2K feels like a snake eating its own tail (also somehow outside of traditional space-time) we’ve organically developed a series of very particular techniques and rituals, which are repeatedly and consistently utilized throughout filmed material. “ -Matthew Lessner

SAINT Y2K appears almost as a painting: it moves from an abandoned castle, then over a cold landscape in the few hours of light that the day brings, back into the castle, but that is only the beginning of the journey. The scenery is packed with symbols of life, death, and sex, borrowed from art-and film history. Drawing inspiration from films like Sergej Parajanov’s The Color of the Pomegranates with its poetic language and deconstructed dramaturgy.  

The play of light and shadows in SAINT Y2K references baroque paintings and can be seen in works of artists like Diego Velázquez. The directness in composition and the relationship between the human subjects are reminiscent of artists from the Dutch Golden Age like Johannes Vermeer, Dirck Hals, and Jan de Bray. Signs of technology and the now are hidden among these different historical attributes, which gives SAINT Y2K an air of ambiguity and agelessness. But foremost it is like travelling into someone’s mind and dreams. 

“ On the path of creating this project, I found myself reaching out to a wide variety of cosmologies and modalities, and somehow SAINT Y2K has become a kind of catchall for many of the disparate bits and pieces, which have helped me along the way.”- Matthew Lessner

SAINT Y2K is shown accompanied by a text written by curator Alida Ivanov.

Produced by Johannes Palmroos.
With support from Kulturbryggan, Swedish Arts Council.