Litla Gallerý, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, 3rd-5th September 2021
Strand Systems represents the culmination of Boyd’s month-long residency at SÍM, Reykjavík in August 2021. The title is derived from the ‘Social Strand System’, a genre coined by videogame auteur Hideo Kojima to encompass the conceptual focus of his 2019 sci-fi epic Death Stranding. Having discovered the game during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Boyd became fascinated with its uncanny representation of a world in lockdown; a post-apocalyptic vision of America – modelled on the unmistakable, yet alien, landscape of Iceland. In Death Stranding, players trek through unyielding terrain in the hope of re-connecting the world. A world where weather systems accelerate time, optical phenomena such as rainbows hang upside down, and deceased souls are stranded on The Beach, a form of purgatory connected to the world of the living by a link known as The Seam.
The ‘Social Strand System’ allows a seemingly solitary participant to access remnants from the parallel timelines of other players. Boyd’s ongoing interest in opposing philosophical theories and thought experiments such as Determinism, Free will and the Many-worlds interpretation, attracted him to this version of shared experience – a dialogue that his recent works aim to simulate pictorially, through their own quilted patchwork of seams.
In Strand Systems, Boyd presents a series of material responses to his first-person experience of the country. Textile assemblages stitch together the various strands of an artistic practice that has developed over the past year to include: multiple craft competences, photographic printing processes and 3D scanning technology. These works transcribe the abundance of texture, pattern and the mechanisms of light observed in both the wild and urban Icelandic landscape.