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Exhibition: ‘Interspecies Futures [IF]’, defying the borders between fiction & reality

Text by CLOT Magazine

Interspecies Futures [IF], exhibition view

Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of artistic practices related to the book as an art object. Founded in 1974, Center for Book Arts has become a model for serving as a space for research, education, exhibition, making, and community building.

Until June 26, 2021, the exhibition Interspecies Futures [IF] is on view. Curated by Oscar Salguero Interspecies Futures [IF] is the first survey of book works by leading international practitioners from the contemporary fields of bio-art and speculative design who have turned to the codex as a tool for the proposal of alternative human-nonhuman scenarios.

Interspecies Futures [IF] is an interspecies history in two timestamps: from a 45,000-year-old cave painting of a wild pig in Indonesia to Elon Musk inserting a Neuralink chip into the brain of Gertrude, the pig. Informed by methods from conceptual art, posthumanism, biotechnology (CRISPR), and emerging interfaces (AI, VR, 3D printing), these artists produce documents that defy the borders between fiction and reality. In their hands’ field guides, lost diaries, investigative dossiers, lab journals, and corporate catalogues become portals into multiple interspecies possibilities.

Interspecies Futures [IF] introduces practices that cover a large range of positions toward the nonhuman. Some books propose new eco-conscious alternatives; others imply trans-species dreams. Among all artists participating, we find names very well known by CLOT readers: Baum & Leahy (c/o The Institute of Queer Ecology), Saša Spačal, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Noam Youngrak Son, who is two publications: Hotel Symbiogenesis: Reimagining symbiosis through speculative craft, a publication based on Hotel Symbiogenesis by Designmatter X Hypothetical Studios and Becoming a bat, embodying COVID-19, based on the film Money in Vivo. 

Other artists participating are Tomás Saraceno, Javier Viver, Jenna Sutela or Dougal Dixon.

(Picture courtesy of Sean Davidson)
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