artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis
Interweaving sound, language and image, The Altering Shores is a four screen video performance with live music. Set in the marshlands and industrial wastelands of our local Delaware River watershed and others worldwide, the experience presents a kaleidoscope of climate futures through fragmented language and multi-layered sounds and images. Participants are guided through this uncertain terrain by lead artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis.
Beginning on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm you can experience the project via short 360-degree vignettes, viewable at four unique virtual reality pop-up stations around the University of Pennsylvania campus. The stations will appear from 4-6pm on Nov 16, 19, 21, and 23.
Environmental Storytelling & Virtual Reality will explore environmental research and virtual reality (VR) across two days of talks, film screenings, workshops and a live multimedia performance for students, faculty, and staff at Penn and beyond.
The festival is organized around three keywords that illuminate the connections between interdisciplinary environmental research and virtual reality technologies and experiences: empathy, education, and action on climate. As authors of the October 2018 IPCC Special Report have urged, action on climate must come now, from individuals and institutions across sectors and across languages and borders. The forecast of 1.5 degree surface warming already by 2040, as dire as it is realistic, points to the need to wrench down greenhouse gas emissions to slow the current acceleration of ongoing climate change.
It also hints at the creative and imaginative combinations of scientists, humanists, artists, and environmental and public health advocates that we can bring together to nurture, in the language of the IPCC report, “the wide scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming to 1.5 C.”
The IPCC report also suggests the role of emotion. Taking action on climate depends centrally on empathy. And, if that empathy is to make positive environmental impacts, it needs education. Touted in headlines as “the ultimate empathy machine,” virtual reality holds great promise as an educational tool, but remains largely untested. In this gathering of scientists, artists, educators, and the interested public, we want to put this claim to the test to see how VR and immersive storytelling might catalyze action on climate.
The event’s invited guests work at the forefront of VR, AR, and game design in educational institutions, in media and journalism, and in informal community spaces promoting public health, environmental literacy, and climate solutions.
RODERICK COOVERholds a BA from Cornell University (1989), an MA from Brown University (1994) and a PhD in the history of culture, with a specialization in media arts and anthropology, from the University of Chicago (1999). His films and new-media works include Unknown Territories (2011), Vérité to Virtual (DER, 2008), The Theory of Time Here (Video Data Bank, 2007), and Cultures in Webs (Eastgate, 2003), among others. His scholarship has been published in journals such as Film Quarterly,Visual Studies, and Visual Anthropology and in books such as the SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods. As co-editor of the recently published Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts (University of Chicago Press), Professor Coover examines the impact of new technologies in the humanities and arts.
Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020
Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago: February 6 –May 16, 2021
The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures brings together some 80 works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker and the Art Institute of Chicago following its presentation in Philadelphia.
Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
While no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most importantly, fresh ideas.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and responding to—different visions of the future, but also to understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations.”
Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of seaweed.
“Some of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible, debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations to take flight.”
The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources, visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in 2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space, responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the human footprint on the environment. The section titled Generations will explore ways in which the choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival.
In Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.
Intimacies is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the possibility of digitally mediated love and sex, suggesting what advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.
Foods contains projects that explore the future of the human diet. Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter, by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells.
Additional sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while Power willlook at how design may affect our citizenship and help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices, and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data acknowledges and questions the different ways that information might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and asymmetries, to shape different futures.
Futures Therapy Lab
As part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs, many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights, will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through reflection, discussion, and art making.”
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer in honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.
Centered on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate the design context within broader historical, social, political, and aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
The primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher, Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan, with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson, Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour, Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman, and Eyal Weizman.
Designs for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.
The curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; at the Walker Art Center, Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.
Kathryn B. Hiesinger is The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form inMotion (2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001), Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design since 1945 (1983).
Michelle Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017).
Emmet Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding, publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in 2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.
Maite Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia University, New York. She is the author and curator of Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and performance.
Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019) and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of architecture and design on society.
We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.
Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.
GLASSBORO, NJ – Rowan University Art Gallery welcomes guest curator Amie Potsic with this exhibition. Three women artists reframe the cultural construct of feminine as empowering in Enamored Armor. The opening reception and artist talk is on Thursday, November 29 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The exhibit is on display from November 29, 2018 – January 12, 2019.
Featuring work by Marjan Moghaddam, Mari Ogihara, and Tiantian Li, Enamored Armor includes references inspired by art history, cultural specificity, and contemporary society. The classical figure serves as a basis, as the artists investigate the multiplicity of ways in which women choose to present and redefine themselves in pursuit of potency and self-discovery. Through video, painting, sculpture, and Augmented Reality, their work spans a historical spectrum of millennia with a finger on the pulse of current artistic practice, the women’s empowerment movement, and emerging technologies.
Marjan Moghaddam is an award-winning and pioneering digital artist and animator who works primarily with 3d computer graphics, motion capture, and digital media for animation, post-internet art. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in addition to curated shows at the Armory Show in NYC and Art Basel Miami. In her digital female bodies, Marjan utilizes aesthetic styles as part of a figural vocabulary that explores the evolving nature of humanity. The figures represent the deconstruction of the organic, and its fracturing and fragmentation as it migrates from the physical to the digital.
Mari Ogihara’s work ranges from female figures to colorful biomorphic sculptures. She connects her understanding of how a samurai got ready for battle with the way women throughout history have prepared their physical appearance for sexual intimacy. Ogihara has held international residencies in France, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico in addition to multiple residencies in the United States.
Tiantian Li’s work has been shown in numerous Philadelphia galleries in addition to major art museums in China. In her watercolors she explores ideation of female intimacy and emotions expressed through portraits of her lingerie superposition with portraits of historical characters from the renaissance period, which represents a time of enlightenment and romantic expression. She is encouraging women to take a positive perspective on their bodies and female representation while giving themselves the attention, humor, and respect they deserve.
The Rowan University Art Gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Admission to the gallery, lecture, and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/artgallery.
Support for programming at Rowan University Art Galleries is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Michener Art Museum to Present Innovative Sculpture Exhibition
Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture opens on February 17, 2018
DOYLESTOWN, PA–Beginning February 17, 2018, the James A. Michener Art Museum will present Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture, an innovative sculpture exhibition that joins 20th century art with 21st century technology. Nine sculptures by artist Charles Rudy (1904-1986) will be on display alongside three-dimensional representations made possible through a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.
Through Google Cardboard viewers, visitors will be able to explore the sculptures in virtual-reality mode. The exhibition will be on view through April 8, 2018.
“This is a first-of-a-kind show–not only for the Michener, but for many art museums in the United States,” said Adrienne Neszmelyi-Romano, director of interpretation and innovation, who co-curated the exhibition with assistant curator Louise Feder. “We are very proud that our museum, which has long been committed to showcasing the work of important regional artists, is also at the forefront of technology, and is taking a leading role in understanding how technology can enhance the visitor experience.”
The James A. Michener Art Museum was the first institution on the East Coast to partner with the Google Cultural Institute 3D Operations team to digitize objects from its permanent collection, making 26 objects–including 15 of Rudy’s sculptures–accessible in 3D in 2015 to a global audience. Virtually Rudy pairs the tangible with the intangible, presenting scan and sculpture side by side for the first time. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Charles Rudy achieved national status as a sculptor for his work on public buildings across the country as well as for his prize-winning sculptures. His most notable commissions include the Noah on the Bronx post office in New York and the Sun Seaman’s Memorial in Delaware. In 1936, Rudy and his wife purchased a 70-acre farm in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, where he located his studio. His sculptures of farm animals, several of which are featured in this exhibition, are said to have been inspired by his time spent on his farm. A 1942 Guggenheim fellow, Rudy taught as the head of Cooper Union’s sculpture department for ten years. He also held teaching positions at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, Michigan State College, and Philadelphia Museum School of Art.
Through a partnership with the Perkiomen Schoolin Pennsburg, PA, 3D-printed reproductions of Rudy’s sculptures will be available for visitors to handle, and live demonstrations of the 3D printing process will take place during visiting hours. The 3D printer and the models will be provided by the school’s Entrepreneur Institute, the students of its additive manufacturing class, and the Perk Tech Hub. Throughout the exhibition, museum visitors can register to win 3D-printed models of the sculptures through periodic drawings.
Hollow, Jason Chen and Alex Eckman-Lawn, 2017. Layered cut paper/collage/woven photo. 16.75 x 12.75 inches. Courtesy Paradigm Gallery + Studio.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to announce Asynchronist, an exhibition of new works by Alex Eckman-Lawn and Jason Chen.
The presentation explores the aesthetic and conceptual connections between the artists’ practices, with a particular focus on the use of paper cut mediums to investigate the notion of separation. Several works on view were made collaboratively, a first for both artists. The exhibition is on view through October 21, 2017.
Calling to mind the work of Max Ernst and Joseph Cornell, this exhibition presents Eckman-
Lawn’s cut paper and collage pieces that explore the artist’s fear of the body, particularly how Hollow, Jason Chen and Alex Eckman-Lawn, 2017. Layered cut paper/collage/woven photo. 16.75 x 12.75 inches.
Captive Witness, Alex Eckman Lawn, 2017
The body physically entraps and cages the human subject. Drawing from his experience as an
illustrator, he creates a visual narrative using his own distinct vocabulary of symbols and
images, combining seemingly disparate images and sources. Jason Chen will present a new series of handwoven photographs that investigates the notion of duality, interrogating the liminal space between aesthetic perspectives. Rather than a concern with patterning that typifies much of woven artwork, Chen utilizes the process of weaving to deconstruct and reconstruct the photographic image.
About Alex Eckman-Lawn
Alex Eckman-Lawn creates multi-layered, hand-cut, paper collages using everything from his
original digital paintings to imagery from old medical texts. Each layer is spaced, creating a
depth that draws you into the works. His work has appeared in comic books, on album covers,
book covers, T-shirts, music videos, and posters. His cut paper works have most recently been
on display at SCOPE Miami Beach, Art on Paper NY, Paradigm Gallery + Studio, Arch Enemy
Arts, Art Dept., Gallery 1988, Crane Arts Ice Box, Bottleneck Gallery, and more. Eckman-Lawn
received his BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in 2007, and is a Philadelphia
About Jason Chen
Jason Chen is originally from Guangzhou, China. He received his BFA in Animation from the
University of Arts in 2008. Jason is a Philadelphia based Photographer specializing in Fashion,
Editorial, and Alternative Process Photography. He is the Co-Founder of Paradigm Gallery + Studio and Juggling Wolf (a film and animation production studio). Jason’s work has been
displayed in galleries and venues including: Paradigm Gallery + Studio, Crane Arts, The Light
Room Gallery, Trust Gallery, Kimmel Center, and Commerce Square.
What If, Jason Chen, 2017
About Paradigm Gallery + Studio
Established February 2010, Paradigm Gallery + Studio® started as a project between co-
founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, to create a space in which to make artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the local community make their own artwork in a welcoming gallery setting. Over the years, Paradigm Gallery + Studio has become a gallery of diverse contemporary artwork from around the world, but still with a focus on Philadelphia artists.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio provides an artistic space for both the visual and performing arts,
with a focus on dedicated, emerging to established Philadelphia-based visual artists. We
provide artists with individualized attention, strong promotional support and a transformable
gallery space to make their own. We strive to make art accessible to the whole community
through free bi-weekly events and support work that welcomes a wide audience.