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Nothing Stable under Heaven · SFMOMA
[This was great.]

[So was "Sublime Seas
John Akomfrah and J.M.W. Turner"

"Nothing Stable under Heaven reflects on the contested past, the turbulent present, and the unpredictable future, examining how individual and collective voices can be heard in an uncertain world. The title is taken from an essay by James Baldwin, in which he claims the role of the artist in society is to reveal its inherent instability. Featuring contemporary work from the museum’s collection by artists such as Andrea Bowers, Hans Haacke, Emily Jacir, Arthur Jafa, and Glenn Ligon, this exhibition explores the ways that these artists inform our understanding of urgent social, ecological, and civic issues—including security and surveillance, evolving modes of communication, and political resistance."
classideas  sfmoma  art  2018  jamesbaldwin  kevinbeasley  anteliu  dawoudbey  kerryjamesmarshall  andreabowers  mikemills  tiffanychung  richardmisrach  tonyfeher  simonnorfolk  amyfranceschini  lisaoppenheim  felixgonzalez-torres  jorgeotero-pailos  hanshaacke  trevorpaglen  lesliehewitt  maurorestiffe  jessicajacksonhutchins  judithjoyross  emilyjacir  michalrovner  arthurjafa  allansekula  rinkokawauchi  tarynsimon  an-mylê  penelopeumbrico  glennligon  tobiaswong  society  ecology  environment  security  surveillance  communication  politic  resistance  uncertainty  instability  exhibitions  exhibits  johnakomfrah  jmwturner 
april 2018 by robertogreco
San Jose Museum of Art: Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns
"Part 1: June 30, 2015 through January 10, 2016
Part 2: August 29, 2015 through January 10, 2016

The world is a very different place after 9/11. Surveillance, security, data collection, and privacy have become everyday concerns. Covert Operations is the first survey of a generation of artists who respond to the uncertainties of the post-9/11 world. They employ the tools of democracy to bear witness to attacks on liberty and the abuse of power: constitutional ideals, open government, safety, and civil rights are primary values here. They unearth, collect, and explore previously covert information, using legal procedures as well as resources such as the Freedom of Information Act, government archives, field research, and insider connections. In thirty-five powerful works, international artists push our idea of art beyond conventional thinking.

Many of the artists examine the complicity behind human rights violations or pry into the hidden economy of the United States’ intelligence community and so-called “black sites,” locations of clandestine governmental operations. Covert Operations sheds light on the complicated relationship between freedom and security, individuals and the state, fundamental extremism and democracy. The first phase of Covert Operations, opening June 30, showcases artists’ stylistic use of technology, gaming, and computer-generated imagery. It will include works by Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, Harun Farocki, and collaborators Anne-Marie Schleiner and Luis Hernandez Galvan. The second phase will open August 29 with works by Ahmed Basiony, Thomas Demand, Hasan Elahi, Jenny Holzer, Trevor Paglen, Taryn Simon, and Kerry Tribe.

Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns was organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art. Additional support for the exhibition catalogue was provided by Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation."
sanjose  tosee  2015  art  surveillance  security  data  datacollection  privacy  exhibits  togo  government  democracy  harunfarocki  anne-marieschleiner  luishernandezgalvan  ahmedbasiony  thomasdemand  hasanelahi  jennyholzer  trevorpaglen  tarynsimon  kerrytribe  covertoperations  us  blacksites  liberty  freedom 
july 2015 by robertogreco
⟣ Projects ⟢ — ⟜ R a c h e l ⋅ S u s s m a n ⤀
"Since 2004 I've been researching, working with biologists, and traveling the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older: the oldest living things in the world.

My practice is contextualized by the multidisciplinary inquiries of Matthew Ritchie and the new conceptualism of Taryn Simon and Trevor Paglen, who likewise gain physical access to restricted subjects and illustrate complex concepts with photographs supported by text. The work spans disciplines, continents, and millennia: it’s part art and part science, has an innate environmentalism, and is underscored by an existential incursion into Deep Time. I begin at ‘year zero,’ and look back from there, exploring the living past in the fleeting present. This original index of millennia-old organisms has never before been created in the arts or sciences.

I approach my subjects as individuals of whom I’m making portraits in order to facilitate an anthropomorphic connection to a deep timescale otherwise too physiologically challenging for our brain to internalize. It’s difficult to stay in Deep Time – we are constantly drawn back to the surface. This vast timescale is held in tension with the shallow time inherent to photography. What does it mean to capture a multi-millennial lifespan in 1/60th of a second? Or for that matter, to be an organism in my 30s bearing witness to organisms that precede human history and will hopefully survive us well into future generations?"

[See also: ]

"Sussman's voyage across space and time began in Japan in 2004. She started feeling homesick after a friend’s wedding, so took the advice of an old Japanese idiom and trekked even further away from home, seeking out the 7000-year-old Jomon Sugi tree (below), from the Jomon era in Japan.

The tree, though beautiful, did not deliver any instant epiphanies. It was a year later, in a Thai restaurant back in Soho, New York, that Sussman had her Eureka moment. Ever since, she has spent very little time in her studio in Brooklyn, preferring to explore the bottom of the ocean, the desert in Namibia, and the Antarctic peninsula, tracking and documenting the world's oldest things.

But her task hasn't been an easy one.

"One thing that's really interesting is that there's no area that deals with longevity across species," she said. "For example, dendrochronologists study old tree history, and micologists study fungi. But they don’t talk to each other. So there was no list of old organisms. Basically I had to figure out what I was looking for before I could look for it."

Sussman wound up finding more than organisms; she found connection to deep time, and long-term thinking.

Millenia-old life, (like the 3000-year-old Llareta (above), puts the human lifespan and the human approach to timekeeping into a whole new perspective. On the geologic time scale, human life lasts but for a few fleeting moments. On the cosmic scale, it's the blink of an eye.

"Some of the older individuals have been around since pre-history (or before historical records began to be written around 4,000 BCE)," said Sussman. "They have lived through any event you can think of in modern history, events which seem like they happened a long time ago—Shakespeare or the renaissance, or even the invention of the wheel!"

These individuals have witnessed the unfolding of history; the evolution of man, the dawn of agriculture, the Ice Age.

"The underpinning of the project is really deep time and long-term thinking," she went on. "By starting at year 0, it's like saying “wait a minute, this is all so recent, our perspective is so narrow. Let's look really far back.”

But even year 0 is a problematic starting point.

"Why is it 2004? Why is it 2014? That’s so arbitrary. It’s actually the year 4 billion, 500 million, 2014. It’s kind of remarkable that we’ve come to agreement to what year it is, given all the other differences we have on this planet," said Sussman.

And yet despite our fleeting presence, humans are having a massive impact on our planet and its ancient survivors.

Looking at a 80,000-year-old Aspen colony in Utah should be a humbling experience for anyone."
life  nature  photography  rachelsussman  matthewritchie  tarynsimon  trevorpaglen  multidisciplinary  art  science 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Taryn Simon, Strange Cargo at Kennedy Airport - Interactive Feature -
"These images are from a set of 1,075 photographs — shot over five days last year for the book and exhibition, ‘‘Contraband’’ — of items detained or seized from passengers or express mail entering the United States from abroad at the New York airport. The miscellany of prohibited objects — from the everyday to the illegal to the just plain odd — attests to a growing worldwide traffic in counterfeit goods and natural exotica and offers a snapshot of the United States as seen through its illicit material needs and desires."
contraband  food  travel  nyc  jfk  airport  collections  tarynsimon  photography  security  customs 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Taryn Simon's talk at DLD - we make money not art
"In her latest photo series...Simon documents spaces that are intrinsic to the country's identity and daily functioning, yet inaccessible or unknown to average citizens. She brings into broad day light rarely seen sites from domains including: science, go
tarynsimon  space  culture  identity  photography 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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