FORMATION #1 , SILVER MYLAR, DICHROIC FILM ON METAL LIGHT BOX, 76.2 X 103 CM. 2016
Derek Tumala works in a sculptural medium that largely uses calculations of light elements through video mapping, prisms and other light fixtures. From Rainbow Gravity theory to Philippine ethnoastronomy, he maps the speculative principles of science with the birth of culture.
To Where the Sky Will Lead Us speculates on the speculative between the realism in public cosmology and the local culture’s epistemology on creation, planetary motions and cosmic formulations that bear the physical world and the machine of myth. In Tumala’s previous presentation Appetite For Wonder, he reverse engineers the property of Light by testing refractions of this energy via its own source. Light was captured as a totality, a moment of creation distilled as a landscape that was never to arrive because it was already present, omnipresent. These peculiar trenches appear again To Where the Sky Will Lead Us as an echo chamber of stars delivering themselves. Gashes as an allegory to the vacuums in Space split some permutations of Tumala’s cosmology, as if to honour the black hole that Totality also cradles.
Peculiar to this exhibition is the motion of formation: a quadrotelescope and a generative projection sail through sets of cosmic terrain. In an attempt to locate the field of science perpetuated in history and popular culture, Tumala has surveyed prompts of local epistemology. The Banting (Bukidnon ethnoastronomy) is evoked in its affinity as a germinating pool surrounded by a rainbow – a strange, local vision of Creation constellating a star system particular to our obscured cultures. To Where the Sky Will Lead Us do not unravel the cast of constellations. Rather, it introspects the perpetuating speculations of spacetime in a period expected to have reached resolutions and answers to hypotheses that have flung us into Space, mapped birthcharts, and hyperaccelerated utopian projects to its eventual collapse into dystopia.
Tumala relies on the speculative as a brimming, bristling moment of the present as it re-generates, self-generates, congeals, disintegrates and subsumes its multiplicity.
– Sidd Perez