Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker live and work in Panama and have been making collaborative work since 2006. Conlon has a background in science and sculpture and Harker in film and media studies. Their work merges Conlon’s use of ordinary objects and investigations of human behavior with Harker’s irony and subversion of conventional storytelling methods.
The artists’ playful and poetic critiques of contemporary culture have used discarded objects and their inherent properties to comment on consumption, accumulation, climate and the ironic beauty of waste-ridden landscapes. In the video and interactive tabletop games seen in the documentation provided by TEOR/éTica (San Jose, Costa Rica), each (video) game uses objects found in demolition sites in Panama City (Panama), and draws on its own internal logic and set of rules to question and critique the current local socio-political climate. For the past several years, there has been a frenzied real estate boom in Panama, which is re-configuring the urban landscape in an aggressive, incoherent way, leaving behind a soulless, vertical city.
Harpo Foundation funding is being used to take this idea of an interactive game as a point of departure for new public interactive works. Their idea is to search for architectural quirks and vestiges and use them as natural niches or playing surfaces for new games. They hope to make a link between the market-driven disposability of mass-produced objects and the loss of collective memory implicit in the obliteration of Panama City’s architectural heritage. (Source: TEOR/éTica grant proposal)