Radical Materialism: Making the World Matter
08.30.2014, 9:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

world_of_matter_mabe_bethonico_museum_of_public_concerns_poster_video_text_2014_compressedMabe Bethônico, Museum of Public Concerns, poster, video, and text, 2014, via World of Matter

On September 10th we will be presenting our work at the CUNY Graduate Center’s The Center for the Humanities conference entitled, Radical Materialism: Making the World Matter. The conference begins at 9:30am and runs until 6pm (in The Skylight Room, 9100 at 365 Fifth Avenue, New York).

“Images and words can be reportage, witness, representation, and simultaneously also constructive, connective, material reality. How does the particular ability of images and words to hold all of these qualities act in a reconsideration of the earth’s resources? Continuing the James Gallery’s ongoing investigations into “things” and “objects,” this conference will open discussion on fossil fuel imaginaries, embodied research, postcolonial ecologies and eco-aesthetics, and the material/non-human turn with visual artists, literary scholars, art historians, designers, geographers, activists, and writers of literature and philosophy. Held in tandem with the exhibition World of Matter, the conference examines the creation of political worlds of words and images by approaching environmental crisis as a material question with deep roots and profound opportunities for the changing life of the earth.”

On September 9th, there will be an opening and book launch from 6-8pm for the World of Matter exhibition which will be on view at the James Gallery through November 1, 2014. World of Matter, “comprises visual practitioners and theorists conducting long-term research on material geographies, who engage ideas and practices from art, spatial culture, urbanism, anthropology, art history, cultural theory, photojournalism, activism, publishing, curating and education.”

From The Center for the Humanities press release for the exhibition:

The world we inhabit is expanding. Global population growth, increased mobility, accelerated contacts, rising levels of production and consumption, and the expansion of natural resource extraction have had a significant impact in environmental, social and psychological terms. What forms of interaction with the material world acknowledge that there are limits to what we, as humans, might know and control?

Participants in World of Matter draw upon methodologies from the social and natural sciences, journalism, and also poetics and aesthetics, to scrutinize zones of geopolitical-ecological upheaval. The research conducted by the artists, journalists and theorists in World of Matter coheres around a sensitive reconsideration of the planet’s “resources.” Their projects adopt a variety of formats and strategies to delve into relations between humans and the world, in some cases by way of historical narratives, in others, through scientific laboratory research, community collaboration, visualization technologies, or activist organization. These experiments animate an emerging notion of artistic global citizenship, breaking up well-worn patterns of representation by embracing a plethora of aesthetic, conceptual and interventionist engagements with “matter.”

World of Matter artists are Mabe Bethônico, Ursula Biemann, Uwe H. Martin & Frauke Huber, Helge Mooshammer & Peter Mörtenböck, Emily Eliza Scott, Paulo Tavares, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan. This exhibition is made possible in part by the Center for the Humanities, the Ph.D. Program in English, and the Center for Place Culture and Politics.

A full schedule of related events and programming will be available via the CUNY website early next week.  We hope to see you on the 9th and 10th.


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