2011 - 2016 collaboration work with Dmitry Sokolenko
pigment print, 100 × 127 cm, edition 3
Introduction by Peter Constantine
x = y → (A(x) ↔ A(y))
x = y → (Sokolenko (x) ↔ Ohno (y))
y = x → (A(y) ↔ A(x))
Fractal² is a series of unique microfictions and art pieces co-created by Dmitry Sokolenko and Shunuske Ohno. The core of the multimedia work of word and image gathered in this beautiful volume, its initial spark, is a fractal trigger that gives the work its self-propagating symmetry. One piece triggers the next, which in turn triggers the following one, which in turn triggers the one after it. This is the impulse behind the artistic continuum, and sheds light on how this work came into being. In Fractal² the written word and the image are two separate but coexisting manifestations of the Ohno-Sokolenko collaboration. In this sense the book presents simultaneous collaborations that are very different: that of Ohno and Sokolenko as literary co-creators, and that of Ohno and Sokolenko as collaborators in visual art.
Over the past five years I followed the two artists preparing this book in their unique long-distance collaboration: Sokolenko in his Saint Petersburg studio, Ohno in his studio in Tokyo. I saw the book unfolding in image and word. The first visual work of Fractal² was co-constructed in Russia in Dmitry Sokolenko’s studio, the second in Japan in the studio of Shunsuke Ohno, the third in Russia, the fourth in Japan. This is the visual series’ fractal path, and the interactivity between the artists is part of what makes this work distinctive. But if fractal propagation was the trigger of this remarkable collaboration, then the strategy and game plan of a chess board is the propellant. Running through the iconic and iconoclastic microfictions and artworks in this book is the fractal sequence of the great chess master Bobby Fisher’s winning game plan, both in energy and in the actual algebraic chess notations. Bobby Fisher is also a character in Fractal², emerging in one of the stories set in 1962 from the trunk of a car in Rome, where he surrealistically pays homage to a portrait of Gogol and meets the great Japanese surrealist Kobo Abe, who the New York Times once described as "an owlish figure usually pictured behind large, black-framed glasses and puffing on a cigarette," and who in the Fractal² scene offers Bobby Fisher one of his famous cigarettes.