Kerem Ozan Bayraktar

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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.

Detail from Great Oxidation Event 2019
Installation shot of Great Oxidation Event 2019