Mihnea Mircan & Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, eds.
With contributions by Haseeb Ahmed, Ignacio Chapela, Justin Clemens, Georges Didi-Huberman, Jonathan Dronsfield, Christopher Fynsk, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Natasha Ginwala & Vivian Ziherl, Adam Staley Groves, Sean Gurd, Adam Jasper, Susanne Kriemann, Brenda Machosky, Mihnea Mircan, Alexander Nagel, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tom Nicholson, Jack Pettigrew, Raphaël Pirenne, Susan Schuppli, Lucy Steeds, Jonas Leonard Tinius, Marina Vishmidt, Christopher Witmore, and Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll
A 2010 archeological study found that the prehistoric Gwion Gwion paintings in Australia, whose chromatic vividness contrasts with their age and their exposure to sun and rain, are inhabited by “living pigments.” A symbiotic biofilm of red cyanobacteria and black fungi sustains a process of permanent self-painting, while also etching the pictures deeper into the quartz wall. The texts commissioned for the reader respond, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, to an idiosyncratic temporality and economy—or ecology—of signification. Descending from an inscrutable past to the same extent that they are made now, in a radical contemporaneity, the Gwion Gwion are examined as an allegorical metabolism that generates new articulations of “art” and “life,” contamination and purity, prehistory and modernity, bacterial and human colonies, lost knowledge and scientific advancement—collaborative relations between antonyms, altered schemas of “origin” and “identity.”
Now out-of-print – last copies.
- ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE PAINTING
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Art In The Age Of… was published on the occasion of the eponymous yearlong cycle presented at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (23 January 2015 – 3 January 2016). This series articulated itself through three exhibitions; Art In The Age Of…Energy And Raw Material, Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation, and Art In The Age Of…Asymmetrical Warfare, alongside a related discursive program and film screenings.
Art In The Age Of… was staged to investigate future vectors of art production in the 21st century, highlighting the circulation of art and its underlying economies rather than its territorial location, its spread and infectious expanse rather than its arrest within narrowly defined genealogies and media.
With a focus on topical areas of urgency within art’s creation and its dispersal, spanning energy and raw materials, planetary computation, and asymmetric warfare, the Art In The Age Of… publication both records and expands research feeding this year-long program through interviews and essays by key contributors, alongside specially commissioned artist interventions.
Edited by Defne Ayas (director, Witte de With), Natasha Hoare (associate curator, Witte de With), and Adam Kleinman (chief editor, WdW Review), the book features interviews with artists involved in the various exhibitions of Art In The Age Of…, including Rossella Biscotti, James Bridle, Céline Condorelli, John Gerrard, Femke Herrengraven, David Jablonowski, Navine G. Kahn-Dossos, John Menick, Trevor Paglen, Susan Schuppli, Tom Tlalim; commissioned essays by theorists, curators and cultural historians involved in its discursive program, including contributions by Alexandra Bradford, Natasha Ginwala, Mike Jay, and Mohammad Salemy; interventions by artists Nina Canell and David Jablonowski; as well as visual documentation of the three exhibitions.
- Art In The Age Of…
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