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Anicka Yi’s solo exhibition “A Shimmer Through The Quantum Foam” opens at Esther Schipper, Berlin, evolving the Korean-American artist’s notion of the “biologized machine” with new works. Visitors enter a hybrid ecosystem of fleshy landscapes created with machine learning models and suspended luminescent pods resembling Radiolaria. As the soft glow of an aqueous ooze—indicative of life’s marine origins—sprawls across the gallery floor, a custom-made scent by perfumer Barnabé Fillion fills the air.
London-based future connoisseurs Superflux reveal The Ecological Intelligence Agency (EIA) (2023), a speculative proposal for an autonomous inter-departmental government agency that uses localised AI models to align labour, climate and data justice for eco advocacy. Commissioned by the UK Policy Lab and Defra Futures, and shown at “Changing Course” in June, EIA gives voice to fresh water systems to aid decision-making by “making river health sense-able and situating policies within wider contextual ecosystems.”
“(Re)connecting.earth (02)—Beyond Water” the second Biennial of Art and Urban Nature opens in Geneva (CH). Building on the 2021 urban gardening theme, water ecologies are foregrounded through programming that activates shoreline Lake Geneva sites. Artists including Marie Griesmar, Denim Szram, and Pinar Yoldas (image: An Ecosystem of Excess, 2013-) present works addressing aquatic biodiversity. Of note: the staging of Life Airborne System (1965) and two 1970s works by Hans Haacke.
Pairing artists and scientists in the Experiments in Art and Technology tradition, “EXPERIMENTAL ECOLOGY” opens at Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger (KBH.G) in Basel (CH). Five artist-scientist duos including Sissel Tolaas & Christina Agapakis, Michelle-Marie Letelier & Karin Pittman, and Zheng Bo & Matthias Rillig articulate ecology and climate research in installation, fashion, and video. “What may, what should, and what must art do?,” write curators Martina Huber and Gianni Jetzer.
The Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) launches ARE YOU FOR REAL, a cosmic-themed web publication organized by curators Giulia Bini and Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás. Artists including Weihao Qiu & Guo Cheng, Theodoulos Polyviou & Loukis Menelaou, Tatyana Zambrano contribute a ‘planet’ pondering the ascent of “virtual realities as our lifeworld diminishes.” The Rodina’s Poring the Ecocide, for example, presents an eco-disaster timeline that is part CGI abstraction and part jump-off point for further research.
In her review of Oceans (2023), a new Whitechapel Gallery anthology of sea-centric artworks and texts gathered by Pandora Syperek and Sarah Wade, critic Régine Debatty highlights favourites. Picks include Shimabuku’s octopus diaries, Saskia Olde Wolbers’ 2017 film Pfui – Pish, Pshaw/Prr, and an interview with Brian Jungen, whose “large sculptures of whale skeletons, made of mass-produced plastic garden furniture, allude to the threat of uncontrollable pollution.” (image: Cetology, 2002)
“European scientists seem to be quite captivated that this time period starts very recently. For Indigenous and other displaced and dispossessed peoples who were impacted by violence over the last 600 years, everything that leads up to what makes this global shift possible starts much earlier.”
Intermediae Matadero Madrid inaugurates a year-long research program on climate adaption rituals with the group show “Climate Fitness.” Expanding on their 2019 essay “Planet Fitness,“ exhibition designers Common Accounts and curator Maite Borjabad stage works by Faysal Altunbozar, Itziar Barrio (image: Robota MML, 2016-), Ibiye Camp, Irati Inoriza, and Mary Maggic as a gym—a place for visitors to test bodily and planetary boundaries, exercise mutuality, and build up agency.
“Working With Waste,” a show presenting the outputs of an eponymous working group led by British artist Lucy Beech, opens at Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg (DE). Presented is Beech’s recent video art exploring waste and transformation (image: Warm Decembers, 2022) alongside contributions from Riar Rizaldi, James Richards, and Steve Reinke. The works consider notions of flow and blockage relative to “not only individual guts and urban drainage networks, but also to understandings of creativity.”
“Nature Scene,” a screening program of CGI ecologies, takes over the media façade of UC San Diego’s Mandeville Art Gallery, featuring digital artworks commissioned or specifically adapted for the space. Mandeville director Ceci Moss selected pieces by Anna Carreras, Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo & Feileacan McCormick), Tiare Ribeaux, Nicolas Sassoon, Clement Valla, and Qianqian Ye, that use AI, generative algorithms, and 3D scanning to untangle “the evolution of technology and the mediation of the natural world.”
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