“Trans-subjective Engagements” Exhibition
[Image: Leidy Churchman, Let's Complete the Tasks Set Forth in the New Year's Address, (2016) oil on linen, 24 x 30 in. Courtesy the artist and Murray Guy, New York.]
This event has ended.
“In considering the study of physical phenomena, not merely in its bearings on the material wants of life, but in its general influence on the intellectual advancement of mankind, we find its noblest and most important result to be a knowledge of the chain of connection, by which all natural forces are linked together, and made mutually dependent upon each other; and it is the perception of these relations that exalts our views and ennobles our enjoyments.”
- Alexander von Humboldt, COSMOS, Vol. 1, 1845
Koenig & Clinton presents the opening of Trans-subjective Engagements, a group exhibition that draws relationships between technology, ideology, resources, economic systems, and ecosystems. While aesthetic approaches vary, this ensemble has been arranged to focus upon present challenges through a lens of vulnerability.
The title of Leidy Churchman’s lone painting - Let’s Complete the Tasks Set Forth in the New Year’s Address - echoes the declarative promises of a demagogue. Planted amidst tidy rows of young crops, a Socialist Realist sign heralds untold yields that will resolve chronic shortages.
On the floor nearby lies a pile of minerals. Eric Wysokan’s Untitled (iPhone Mine) manifests each of the raw solids that Apple Inc. must extract to build a single device. This reckoning of resources foreshadows scarcity while the artist’s bric-à-brac Rebreather ‘respires’ recycled air in the opposite corner.
Equally incorporated, Anicka Yi’s spirited blend of plastic tubes and artisanal soap rests inert beneath an airless bell jar. Haptic and olfactoric potentials are presented within a closed system of clinical control.
For a moment, Tyler Coburn’s Sabots suggests further evidence of phantom sentient bodies. Suspended at eye-level, a pair of clogs reveals their novel construction upon closer inspection. The two forms are 3D thermoplastic prints that were fabricated under ‘lights out’ conditions at a plastic factory. The process of their production requires no human labor. Against this rendition of digital seamlessness, The Warp, Coburn’s interwoven series of framed texts and images interrupt popular narratives about automation that date back to the 18th-century.
Beginning at the tail end of the 17th-century, Jason Loeb’s thermographic exposition traces a particular arc of technological developments to denature ideological links between “laws of natural processes” and the “economy as natural law.” Through the proxy of a fictional character Suzanne Treister collapses and recombines botanical, spiritual, and economic systems, hyperbolizing the false equivalences that are drawn between them.
Installed on in two groups at opposite ends of the gallery, Miljohn Ruperto’s digital Mineral Monsters quiver. Ruperto, in collaboration with animator Aimée de Jongh and neuroscientist Rajan Bhattacharyya reference Georges Canguilhem’s negation of human potential for influence over nature as the starting point for a meditation on the mineral as a neutral ground, resistant to anthropomorphic projections.