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The Posthumanist 2
Rhythms / Rhythmen
The sophomore issue of the English and German periodical of more-than-human perspectives, featuring art, poetry, and essays from contributors including Delal Seker Bulut, Gertrude Gibbons, Eryk Salvaggio, Helene Schulze, and Elvia Wilk.

Brazilian researchers report the finding of “plastic rocks” on the remote island of Trindade, part of a volcanic archipelago about 1,100 kilometres off mainland Brazil. Chemical tests revealed the main pollutant forming these plastiglomerates to be synthetic fishing nets that wash ashore and ‘melt’ into the sediment when temperatures rise. “This is new and terrifying at the same time, because pollution has reached geology,” says Fernanda Avelar Santos, a geologist at the Federal University of Parana.

Neural 71
Strange Weathers
Guest-editors Daphne Dragona and Jussi Parikka explore weather and the disrupted climate as sites for digital culture and artistic intervention. Highlights include interviews with Karolina Sobecka, Superflux, open-weather, Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway, and Jana Winderen.
Peter Weibel (ed)
Discussing the works over 60 contributing artists and institutions, Weibel anthologizes the ZKM Karlsruhe’s 2021-22 “BioMedia” research exhibition that surveyed “The Age of Media with Life-like Behavior”

An intervention into the fabled novel Moby-Dick, “Of Whales” opens at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. American artist and MacArthur fellow Wu Tsang flips Herman Melville’s 19th century script, presenting a video installation that renders the novel’s unseen ocean depths from the White Whale’s perspective (image). A postcolonial and anti-extractivist reframing, instead of dread and death, Melville’s antagonist now offers visitors an “oceanscape-cosmos for respite, contemplation, and provocation.”

Sommerer & Mignonneau
The Artwork as a Living System
From the early digital gardens to the recent insect studies, editors Karin Ohlenschläger, Peter Weibel, and Alfred Weidinger compile the 1992-2022 body of work of pioneering interactive art duo Laurent Mignonneau & Christa Sommerer.

“Anoxic Memory,” a show by Maria Simmons, maker of “art that eats itself,” opens at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington (VAC) in Bowmanville, Ontario (CA). Foregrounding their interest in peatlands, the Canadian artist continues to bring the bog into the white cube, here recreating its three strata—anoxic, oxic, atmospheric—vertically. One on floor Simmons evokes “the anaerobic underbellies of Canadian peatlands” in fermentation jugs, on another they fashion “sculptural ponds of brine” (image).

“In his final book he argues that a new ‘ecological class’ must be assembled to replace the productivist working class of past socialist imaginaries; a class determined not by one’s position relative to the means of production but one’s position in a set of earthly interdependencies.”
– Political theorist Alyssa Battistoni, on late French philosopher Bruno Latour’s turn to climate politics and his often vexed relationship with the left

“Data Garden,” an exhibition by Kyriaki Goni, opens at Blenheim Walk Gallery in Leeds, UK. In it, the Greek artist presents her eponymous ongoing series (image), which uses CGI and sculpture to chronicle Saxifraga depressa and Micromeria acropolitana, plant species native to the Dolomites mountain range and the Acropolis. Presenting plant DNA as a communication protocol that links communities, Goni centres “deep time, geological transformations, and plant history.”

Mojca Kumerdej
New Extractivism
A compilation of interviews with artists Joana Moll, Vladan Joler, DISNOVATION.ORG, and Ben Grosser conducted as part of Aksioma’s eponymous exhibition and conference program in 2022
”I’m not an anti-progress, back-to-the-Stone-Age guy. But we must regulate ourselves or something will come and regulate us against our will.”
– American screenwriter and film director Craig Mazin, on the fungal apocalypse at the heart of his new HBO videogame adaption The Last of Us (2023): fuelled by climate change, highly parasitic Cordyceps infect the world’s population. “I think the thread underneath it is: You don’t want to be too successful on planet Earth,” Mazin says.

Marco Barotti‘s solo exhibition “Rituals of Wasted Technology” opens at silent green, Berlin, presenting two mythical techno-species in defiance of obsolescence: As tower-mounted APES (recycled Wi-Fi sector antennas) perform ”quasi-rituals” from data input—Facebook likes, Google searches, tinder swipes—SWANS (used satellite dishes) float about, propelled by sound. Barotti’s show is part of “Speaking to Ancestors,” a two-year series on ritual curated by Pauline Doutreluingne and Keumhwa Kim.

“Though there are mushrooms aplenty here, humans are in short supply.”
– Art history and visual culture scholar Alex Kitnick, observing the lack of works engaging humans, humanity, and race in the MIT List Visual Arts Center show “Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere

A self-survey of Berlin-based bioartists Margherita Pevere, Theresa Schubert, and Karolina Żyniewicz, “Membranes Out of Order” opens at Kunstquartier Bethanien, bringing their research practices into conversation. The show presents key works that explore the ethics of emergent biotechnology and life’s tendency for “uncertainty, failure, surprise, and disobedience.” Also on view: a plethora of production paraphernalia that reveals the “unseen materials” of bioart.

The Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) Gallery opens “Hylozoism,” a group exhibition of five “neo-nature” ecologies. The included works by Philip Beesley, Keith Lam, Ellen Pau, Ryuichi Sakamoto & Daito Manabe, and fuse* propose a state of techno-symbiosis—“an endless cycle of mutual benefits and coexistence.” Lam’s newly commissioned TTTV Garden, for example, reimagines Nam June Paik’s 1974 TV Garden as a vertical farm that feeds on the 24-hour news cycle.

After exploring “Water” as a major exhibition theme in 2019-20, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) opens “Air,” featuring more than 30 artists including Dora Budor, Nancy Holt, and Katie Paterson that probe the cultural, ecological, and political dimensions of Earth’s atmosphere. “Air” is anchored by Tomás Saraceno’s Drift: A cosmic web of thermodynamic rhythms (2022, image), a new commission that suspends 13 partially mirrored spheres in GOMA’s central atrium.

“I needed to train myself to cry in order to continue feeding those tiny marine ecosystems.”
– Polish artist and designer Kasia Molga, on gathering enough tears for her installation How to Make an Ocean (2021), a set of 12 miniature marine worlds that ‘bottled’ climate grief at the COP27 WHO Health Pavilion. Molga’s secret: a special “tearspoon” and her Moirologist Bot, an AI-driven video piece that serves alarming environmental news.

American software artist Everest Pipkin releases The Barnacle Goose Experiment, an “abiogenesis body horror idle clicker” where you play as researcher Dr. Evergreen G. Branca locked in a biodome and tasked with generating a working world with objects, music, and living things out of her own body. The browser game is inspired by the medieval barnacle goose myth that had people, then unaware of bird migration patterns, believe that geese emerge fully-formed from barnacles.

Daniel Franke’s CGI short Ich sitze in der Wolke (2022) premieres at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival in Kassel, Germany. In his film, the German artist and researcher takes viewers deep into the digital cloud, a GAN-generated post-nature dreamscape where semiconductors, bitcoins, electricity, rare earth minerals, and crystals manifest to force questions about “environmental sin and digital evolution.”

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