ATOI suggest that these scenarios ‘create an unbalance within the fighters’ intuitive structure’; inferring that the unfamiliar spaces and circumstances disturb their natural and instinctive approach to the sport. In the gallery, paths of pigment were laid down, forming the fighter’s pathway to reach the ring. These raw materials were introduced to create a duality within the situation and to visibly record the impact of the fight through unpredictable scuffs, marks and deposits. As such ATOI relinquish a level of control and authorship over the works. They evaluate the violent events in terms of the energy, tension, force and psychological dynamics generated, traces of which can be measured in the aftermaths of the fights. The live event has been documented and the resulting film footage screened throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Stimulus for their work arises from ATOI’s own conceived theory of “cull” (a process of selective slaughter within their work) their interest in housing or controlling the innate, creating psychological scenarios and also playing on theories within physics and geology; in particular the work of Geologist Bailey Willis and his mountain machine appliance. Willis was interested in the movement of land masses and developed a concept for how mountains are formed. When two tectonic plates collide, the immense forces from the plates crumple and breakup the layers of rock, creating colossal peaks and valleys. In relation to this theory the fighters act out the mechanics of forced confrontation; separate energies colliding to create unforeseen outcomes.