Common rhetoric tells us that nature is a force to be dominated, that strangers will surely swindle us, loved ones will one day betray us, and technology will soon overtake us. In our quest to survive and grow, we often extol individuality and self-sufficiency as virtues.
Yet when we take a closer look at what survival entails, we discover an unexpectedly rich and complex network that challenges the very notion of the discrete, disconnected organism. In "A Living Together", artists and musicians explore the nature of human and non-human interdependency, inviting our viewers to consider the relationships that make up their own existence.
Visual Art curated by Nomadique / Music curated by Found Sound Nation
Featuring Artworks by: Christopher Anderson (Magnum), Dana Michele Hemes, Alix Pentecost-Farren, Peter Van Agtmael (Magnum), Xinran Yuan
Pop-up Performances by: Twig Twig & Lea Fulton
Music by: Black Sea Hotel, Jonah Parzen-Johnson, Alpenglow and Tenores de Aterue
*In partnership with Found Sound Nation & Pioneer Works
Event photographs by Sasha Arutyunova
For my entire photographic life I traveled far away to photograph the experience of strangers. Perhaps I hoped to understand something about myself by witnessing intimate moments of people that I did not know. My pictures were my connection to emotions that did not belong to me.
In 2008, my son was born. And like any father, I began photographing this experience quite organically. It never occurred to me that the pictures I was making had anything to do with my “work”. I certainly did not intend to show the pictures to anyone other than my own family. Around the same time, my father became ill. It is safe to say that I was reflecting on obvious themes of life and death and the seasonal nature of my existence. I was struck by the fact that what I was experiencing was at the same time completely unique and universal. I began to recognize that everything I had photographed before in my life was just a preparation for making these pictures. These photographs were not separate from my work… they were my most important life work.
These photographs are not about documentation or storytelling or even art. They are declarations of love…
Repeating Patterns uses the traditional medium of wallpaper to explore sinister and destructive systems in politics, food production, society and the environment. The work plays on the function of wallpaper as a protective membrane meant to keep unseemliness at bay and embeds a decorative appearance with a library of urgent portents.
Created with support from the Center for Faith and Work.
This series of work was first conceived when I spent two winters in Iceland in 2012 and 2013. There I often found myself sitting in front of a window, watching the indistinct land-sea-sky-scape illuminated by a glow that was not exactly sunlight but a grayish reflection that seemed to originate from each and every surface of the organic and constructed world. It was not difficult then to notice that I myself was equally hungry for daylight as the mossy field in front of me and the phytoplankton underneath the ocean surface, whose sustenance depends on the sun perhaps more directly. Then one day, for a second time that winter, twenty thousand tons of herring died in a western fjord due to a lack of oxygen; their silver-blue bodies were washed up on the shore, forming a massive sheet of scaly mirror that glowed for days.
Human intestines are home to a rich ecosystem made up of trillions of microorganisms. This community, known as the gut flora or microbiota, directly affects brain activity and many bodily systems. Human hosts directly affect their bacterial inhabitants through diet and lifestyle.
In this complex system, humans and their microbiota co-shape one another.
Homo [+]/Homo 2, Phase 1: is an installation that activates human bodies as partially open, interspecies systems. Through the act of interspecies eating, humans shape internal and external microbial environments, simultaneously shaping the human.
About the series:
What happens when human culture not only meets nature, but is created with it?
The world is a complex system made up of many, small interactions, which produce endless patterns and forms. Each moment is an event: an active, participatory state where all parts of a system affect and are affected. These parts are living and nonliving, human and nonhuman. I developed an art that locates itself within these events and works directly on their terms. It is an art of systems, evolving boundaries, scale shifting, conversion devices and multiple living and nonliving actors.
Each system-work evolves as it moves into new locations, changes size, and/or gains and loses components, forms, co-creators. Emergent properties reveal themselves and the process continues. By bringing living organisms into the making process, and providing adapted spaces for interspecies interactions, the work is no longer exclusively for or by the human.