CCA Biennial 2014Image: Jenny Sabin

Focus  |  Events  |  Projects Curatorial Staff + Committee  |  Supporting Departments + Groups


Building on its long tradition of leading thematic discussions and exhibitions related to issues in the arts from a campus-wide perspective, the Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) has initiated a CCA Biennial -- a two-year platform for engaging the most urgent questions that artists face within culture and life in the 21st century.  While it has brought critical issues in the arts to the Cornell community in many exhibition formats since its start in 1947, the CCA has established a Biennial to serve as its primary means of bringing faculty and students together around an idea that impacts the visual and performing arts both within and outside of the university.

The intention of the CCA Biennial is to explore an emerging practice or idea in contemporary art that can be meaningfully situated and extended within a research university. Although academic institutions and contemporary art practice can often have antagonistic aims, art understood as a form of research can find new forms of partnership and shared vision with like-minded pioneers in disciplines not always accessible outside of an academic environment.

Through a bi-annually related curriculum, artist-in-residence program, art commissions, workshops, exhibitions and support for faculty and student research projects, the CCA Biennial intends to provide a means for encouraging a network of creative individuals across campus to connect to each other and to other professionals beyond the university who share common interests outside of conventional disciplinary boundaries.

The focus of the inaugural CCA Biennial is the seemingly paradoxical extremes at which we live our contemporary lives and the effect of these extremes on the traditional role of art and visual culture. Entitled Intimate Cosmologies: The Aesthetics of Scale in an Age of Nanotechnology,” the 2014 CCA Biennial addresses the edges of human perception and the pioneering technologies that move perception into realms beyond the visible, where expected behaviors, physical laws and operations dissolve and intangible phenomena become common sites of information and exchange.