The Shed presents Invention, Experimentation and Radical Imagination, an online panel on artistic and scientific collaboration

February 28, 2022
Tomás Saraceno, Tests towards Free the Air: How to hear the universe in a spider/web, 2022. Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno. Courtesy of the artist.

The Shed presents Invention, Experimentation and Radical Imagination, an online survey discussion of artistic/scientific research and collaboration.

Inspired by the work in the exhibition Tomás Saraceno: Particular Matter(s), this panel discussion surveys artistic and scientific frameworks for research, experimentation, and theorizing. For artists, scientists, and thinkers who depend on interdisciplinary collaboration, what possibilities does this approach allow for unlocking meaning and a path forward to a fossil fuel–free future, what Saraceno and his collaborators call the Aerocene community and era. How does an interdisciplinary perspective allow us to imagine possible just and safe futures?

The participants

Caroline A. Jones is a professor in the History, Theory, Criticism section of the Department of Architecture, also serving as associate dean for strategic initiatives, at MIT. She studies modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on its technological modes of production, distribution, and reception, and on its interface with sciences such as physics, neuroscience, and biology. Her essays on modern and contemporary art have appeared in journals ranging from Artforum to Critical Inquiry; she is solo author of several books and exhibition catalogues and a co-editor of volumes that examine technology and the senses, art and neuroscience, and art history and history of science as parallel inquiries. Currently researching biologically active art forms, she is curating the forthcoming exhibition Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere, which will be accompanied by a publication from MIT Press, slated for October 2022.

Dr. Kate Marvel uses climate models, observations, paleoclimate reconstructions, and basic theory to study climate change. Her work has identified human influences on present-day cloud cover, rainfall patterns, and drought risk. She is also interested in future climate changes, particularly climate feedback processes and the planet’s sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide. Dr. Marvel teaches in Columbia’s MA in Climate and Society Program and writes the Hot Planet column for Scientific American. Named one of ”15 Women Who Will Save the World” by Time magazine, she has been profiled by the New York Times and Rolling Stone, and her 2017 TED talk has been viewed over one million times. Before becoming a climate scientist, she received a PhD in theoretical particle physics from Cambridge University, where she was a Gates scholar.

Molly Nesbit is professor of art on the Mary Conover Mellon Chair at Vassar College and a contributing editor of Artforum. Her books include Atget’s Seven Albums (Yale University Press, 1992) and Their Common Sense (Black Dog, 2000). Since 2002, together with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rirkrit Tiravanija, she has been curating the succession of Utopia Stations, an ongoing collective book, exhibition, seminar, web, and street project. The Pragmatism in the History of Art (Periscope, 2013) is the first volume of Pre-Occupations, a series collecting her essays; the second, Midnight: The Tempest Essays, was published in 2017 by Inventory Press. She has received many awards, notably from the Guggenheim Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. In 2008 she gave the J. Kirk T. Varnedoe Memorial lectures at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. In 2019 she received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art from the College Art Association.

Sandra Goldmark is a designer, teacher, and entrepreneur whose work focuses on circular economy solutions to overconsumption and climate change. She is an associate professor of professional practice and director of campus sustainability and climate action at Barnard College. Originally a theatrical set designer, Goldmark is the founder of Fixup, a social enterprise that promotes repair, reuse, and the circular economy; a co-creator of the Sustainable Production Toolkit for performing arts organizations; and the author of Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet.

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