Fabulous Ones


Dave Colangelo, Patricio Dávila, and Immony Mèn in collaboration with Nehal El-Hadi, Jorge de Oliveira, and Patricia Pasten
Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Canada

Fabulous Ones presents creatures inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings as well as his short story “John Wilkins’ Analytical Language” in which a catalogue divides all animals into one of 14 fantastical categories (including “#6 Fabulous ones” and “#13 Those that have just broken a flower vase”). Beings that would live in these categories are conjured by PVS (Dave Colangelo, Patricio Dávila, and Immony Mèn) and collaborators Nehal El-Hadi, Jorge de Oliveira, and Patricia Pasten who have each created a short description of their “fabulous one.” Three-dimensional digital masks based on these descriptions are displayed in a triptych of 85” QLED screens in custom-made, free-standing structures situated within a cluster of trees across from the Archives of Ontario at York University. The masks look back at the viewers, tracking them through motion-sensing cameras and AI-generated animations.

Through processes of social and technical translation, this project aims to combine, dramatize, and question concepts of description, classification, imagination, speculation, and diaspora.

Presented by Archive/Counter-Archive for Nuit Blanche 2022, Toronto, Canada.

Images courtesy of William Meijer (Archive/Counter-Archive), Henry Chan (Archive/Counter-Archive, and Andrew Savery-Whiteway (Archives of Ontario).