Biennial 2020

2020 BIENNIAL: SWARM: Ecology, Digitality, Sociality

The 2020 Cornell Biennial focus is on SWARM: Ecology, Digitality, Sociality, and will feature artistic environments that provoke University-wide conversation about multitude, motion, sound, migration, and threat, while reflecting on precarity in an age of technological abundance.

In image, movement, and assemblage, Swarm lies at the core of the artistic and design process, whether through the assemblage and casting of materials, the combinatory of data, the imaging of ecology, the profusion of sound, the flight of drones or the performance of multitude. The profusion of swarm, as well as its peril, traverse the divides of performance, art, sound, architecture, design, ecology, biology, and information.

While swarming invokes the movement of bees, birds, and drones, swarms migrate in insecurity, abound in protest, infest in virus, and multiply in celebration. Biennial projects might ponder physical force and magnificence, ecological hazard, robotic motion, bursts of data, abundance of sound, density of artistic form, promise of the crowd or threat of the multitude. Artistic approaches to networks, swarms, and multitudes will summon the natural and social, touch the technological and the political, while conjuring traumatic pasts and utopic futures.

Swarm: precarity as potentiality.

Biennial Launch Conference, September 2020


Laurie Anderson/Hsin-Chien Huang (US/Taiwan)
Xu Bing
Ken Feingold
Maria Hupfield
(Wasauksing First Nation/Canada)
Sara Jimenez
Kyungwon Moon/Joonho Jeon
(South Korea)
Sam Van Aken
Wendy S. Walters


2020 Cornell Biennial
Curator/CCA Director Timothy Murray | Program Coordinator Erin Emerson

Curatorial Committee Sasa Zivkovic (Architecture) | Renate Ferro (Art) | Denise Green (Fiber Science & Apparel Design) |
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
(English) | Karen Pinkus (Romance Studies/Comparative Literature) |
Annie Lewandowski
(Music) | Ellen Avril (Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art) |
Amy Villarejo (Performing and Media Arts) | Lauren van Haaften-Schick
(Graduate Student Respresentative) |
Jolene Rickard
(American Indian and Indigenous Studies/Art/History of Art)