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
To the Moon
Laurie Anderson again collaborates with Hsin-Chien to provide an immersive artistic experience. Developed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, viewers are invited to become astronauts through VR goggles that provide an intimate experience with this 3-D imaginary trip into space.
Precarious Natural Swarms
As a proposal for a permanent installation for the Cornell Botanic Gardens, the celebrated Chinese artist and Cornell A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Xu Bing, will create a prototype that will compare the precarity of plants and nature to the disappearance of language and civilization.
The Animal, Vegetable, Mineralness of Everything
An international pioneer of robotic and artificial intelligence art, Ken Feingold exhibits this compelling installation for the first time on the East Coast since its creation with a Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship.
One Person Exhibition
Maria Hupfield will retool the gallery space as a laboratory, as a performance venue, and as an archive that prioritizes and makes space for diverse bodies. The body is a major element to the work of this Canadian / Anishinaabek artist and is heavily represented in the exhibition.
At what point does the world unfold?
Selected for the complexity of her research-based practice, which fits compellingly with the interdisciplinary fabric of the Cornell Biennial, emergent New York artist Sara Jimenez has been commissioned to create a new outdoor installation.
KYUNGWON MOON/JOONHO JEON
The Ways of Folding Space and Flying
Combining Swarm’s subthemes of Ecology, Digitality, Sociality, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, a multi-channel film installation to be revised for the Cornell Biennial, explores an archaeological quest into human civilization that interweaves history with visions of the future as told through a future-retrospective narrative.
SAM VAN AKEN
The Tree of 40 Fruit
Derived from extensive archival research and artistic collaboration, “The Tree of 40 Fruit” stages new artistic perspectives on botany, agriculture, climatology, and the ever-increasing impact of technology that exemplify the interdisciplinary promise of Cornell Biennial’s 2020 theme, “Swarm: Ecology, Digitality, Sociality.”
WENDY S. WALTERS
Good People of Fresh Creek Basin: Notes on Climate Change
This essay examines the early signs of forced migration due to climate change in a Black immigrant neighborhood in Brooklyn. It will consider how a history of segregation shaped the community and its relationship to its coastal environs.
Mud Painting: Bacterial Microperformativity
These creative experiments in bioart exhibit “mud paintings” that foreground microbes existing within mud to photosynthesize pigments. As a species grows from individual to colony, their multitudes become visible first as pointillist pigments and then spread to amass horizontal blocks of transient color.
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)
Alumni Ambassadors Wendy Rosenthal Gellman, Chair (New York City) |
Dan Desmond (New York City) | William Lim (Hong Kong) | Shin-yi Yang (Beijing)