Entropic Chamber : book design by Patrick Chio

In his latest project, Entropic Chamber (2012), João Ó would appear to forego photography altogether in favor of a very clearly installation-oriented exhibition. A roughly cubic structure, dark and industrial, can be approached from two facing sides. Between these two open faces, two movable wings and four fixed shelves modulate the flow and visibility of light emerging from several bright bulbs. The wings rotate slowly and in tandem, moving to an experimental sound composition, brusque and terrifying, that seems at odds with the well-oiled technical grace of the installation itself. In a way, each of the open faces of the structure constitutes a shifting photographic image, a strictly controlled pattern of light that alternately freezes and shifts again. Here, of course, sound and vision interact in a way that would be impossible working with the traditional photograph, but what remains is the logic of what João Ó calls “deception.” The chamber offers the impression that, somewhere within its internal mechanical workings, there is a light core dominated by chaos (or over-organized information), transforming any particular vision of its interior into a limited position. It is the fundamental proposition of phenomenology: the viewer calls the object into being by virtue of his or her position, but, in this case, the available options are limited to the simple categories of “front” and “back.”
With regard to Entropic Chamber, João Ó refers to the concept of “mechanical abstraction.” Naturally, it is always constructive to intentionally misread an artist’s approach to his or her own work; in this case, the viewer will be rewarded by considering not an abstraction created through mechanical materials but rather an abstraction that is produced by virtue of its own mechanization. The machine at the center of this exhibition is, technically speaking, neither abstract nor representational. It is, after all, an object, not a sculpture. But the artist is not necessarily mistaken in that this particular machine gives off very little information; we are faced, perhaps, with a system so complex that its chaos is reduced to visual simplicity, or perhaps, on the other hand, a machine of such utter simplicity that it can only be masking chaos. Possible experiential positions for the viewer are limited to essentially two, while the wings and shelves of the machine can be stopped in virtually any number of positions and combinations, suggesting that the installation is the truly open term in the otherwise viewer-centric relationship of the gallery. This results in a certain violence towards the viewer, an attempt at marginalization that is reflected in the militarized aesthetics of the aeronautical wings and armored body of the machine. It must be noted, of course, that this is not a building; a building would not have been enough.
Entropic Chamber

Robin Peckham

Impromptu Projects, November 2013

Bruno Massadas

Graphic Design
Patrick Chio
ToDoT Design Co. Ldt

Welfare Printing Ltd (Macao)

Cultural Affairs Bureau


Size | 216mm (width) x 140mm (height)
Finish | Softcover staple binding | Accordion folded | Cover, new raglin 170grs (snow), fold | Inside, new gentle 105grs (soft white), fold
Pages | 40
Print-run | 300 copies
Language | English | Chinese 
ISBN 978-99965-914-0-2

MOP$ 80.00 (Patacas)

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