The Animal, Vegetable, Mineralness of Everything
Artist: Ken Feingold
Location: Johnson Museum Gussman Entrance Hall
Dates: Jul 18-Oct 21, 2022, Tue-Sun 10a-5p
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 whose competition portfolios are housed in Cornell Library’s Rose Goldsen Archive for New Media Art. In The Animal, Vegetable, Mineralness of Everything, three self-portraits, each possessing an animal, vegetable, or mineral mind, debate the nature of violence with each other, and discuss their fears – generally their fears about each other. They also wonder about “that thing” before them, as viewers hear how they project their own interior worlds onto it in an attempt to figure out what it really is. Although they hear each other, nothing seems to penetrate or influence their ideas; no matter what the subject matter discussed, they eventually return to their own interests and fixed ideas. Generated in real time by a computer program, the dialog is not pre-recorded, and is different each time someone visits it. The conversations that these figures carry on are neither completely scripted, nor are they random; rather, the software gives each a “personality,” a vocabulary, associative habits, obsessions, and other quirks of personality which allow them to behave as if in a scene of a film, acting out their role over and over, but always changing.
This event is part of the 2022 Cornell Biennial, curated by Timothy Murray and sponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts. The Biennial features the works of 40+ artists throughout Cornell’s Ithaca campus from July through December 2022. See all of the artists and events here.