As Fredric Jameson's oft-quoted: 'the market is in human nature' echo's vainly through the ruins of the present economic crisis, several other commonly held beliefs seem to also be in question, new technologies helping to collapse any remaining dichotomies of in here/out there, blurring ideas of nature versus culture amid new-found complexities arising from advanced geo as well as bio-engineering that allows us to recklessly re-design both nature and human life.
THE GEOLOGICAL TURN: Art and the Anthropocene
In this interdisciplinary project grounded in the concept of The Anthropocene (the recent age of man) Gabo Guzzo, an Italian artist working in London, with an MSc in Economics as well as Fine Art, draws on the research and writing of Paul Crutzen, the Dutch Nobel prize winning atmospheric chemist, and theorist on the Anthropocene. Guzzo investigates the controversial implications of the increasingly discussed new geological epoch, defined by the influence of humanity�s collective actions upon the planet (Time magazine, 2012).
From the Industrial Revolution to the present day, the global population has climbed rapidly from under a billion to its current count of 7 billion and rising. The exploitation of natural resources, particularly coal, oil, and gas, enabling planet-wide industrialisation, construction and mass transport, has transformed much of the Earth�s ecology through erosion, denudation of continents, carbon cycle perturbation and changes to our climate, bio-culture and oceans.
Humans have become a force of nature, reshaping the planet on a geological scale, but at a "far-faster than geological speed" (The Economist, 2011) the implications of which can be felt at an anthropological, social, cultural and economic level. As the Copernican turn seemingly flips back to us in the driving seat, are we even able to solve the problems that go far beyond the present financial crisis that could mean we are at a tipping point, and not just another double-dip?
Guzzo�s work takes into account labour process theory (immaterial labour), social anthropology, and debates in contemporary political philosophy, with an aim to examine the new critical framework in which art moves today. Practicing an art that is often based in collaboration, his ambition is to question the relationship between artistic labour and productive labour and the limits and possibilities of authorship. Linking together art, philosophy, science and anthropology, his research focus' on aspects that relate to the affect of collective action upon the planet, humanity and the (inter-connected) individual subject.
Guzzo will develop a diagram during his week in residence in the project space at Banner Repeater from Thu 24 - Wed 30 May 2012. The diagram is considered a collaborative work with contributions welcome from all, (Guzzo will be in residence during the hours: 8am-3pm Fri 25th and Tue 29th May, all other weekdays 11am-6pm, weekends 12-6pm) as well as invited contributions from: Alessandro Rabottini, Rasheed Araeen, Gitanjali Dang, Mariana Calo and Francisco Queimadela, Michele Robecchi, Ami Clarke, Kat Austen, Francesco Scasciamacchia, Amy Pettifer, amongst others.
Experimental writing by Guzzo, to accompany the show, printed in an edition of 100, will be available for free during the residency and opening.
Everyone is welcome to join us for what promises to be a lively debate on Thu 31 May between 7-9pm. We will be filming the discussion which will be available on the website (in the downloads section) for further viewing.
The project is kindly supported by Arts Council England and Dr. Rossana Pittelli at the Italian Cultural Institute, the Elephant Trust,and Claudia Montesano-Borruto.
Opening night and talk: Thu 31 May 5-9pm.
The work in residency will become a site for discussion from 7-9pm on Thu 31 May, and can be viewed after this until Sun 10 Jun 2012.
Guzzo has invited several noted speakers to join together in conversation on Thu 31 May, using the diagram as a site for discussion and debate: Paul Crutzen, Rasheed Araeen, Jan Zalaseiwicz, with TJ Demos (chair) to discuss some of the controversial ideas that come of the proposed new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.
Paul J. Crutzen is a Dutch Nobel prize winning atmospheric chemist, and theorist on the Anthropocene.
Rasheed Araeen is a London-based conceptual artist, writer, and art critic. His artistic activity has been complemented since 1987 by the groundbreaking art publication of Third Text. He is the author of �Ecoaesthetics: a Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century�.
Jan Zalasiewicz is a lecturer in Geology at the University of Leicester and was formerly with the British Geological Survey. He has published over a hundred papers in scientific journals and is the author of �The Earth after us: what legacy will humans leave in the rocks?�
T. J. Demos will be chairing the discussion. T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art. His published work centres broadly on the conjunction of art and politics, examining the ability of artistic practice to invent innovative and experimental strategies that challenge dominant conventions. (Recent essay: Art after Nature: the Post-natural condition. Artforum, April 2012.)
What: Gabo Guzzo - THE GEOLOGICAL TURN
Where: Banner Repeater, Platform 1, Hackney Downs Network Rail, Dalston Lane, London E8 1LA
When: Thu 24 May - Sun 10 Jun 2012
Residency: Tue and Fri 8am-3pm, Wed and Thu 11am-6pm, weekend 12-6pm
Opening night and talk: Thu 31 May 5-9pm
Exhibition open: Tue-Thu 8-11am and 4-7pm, Fri 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun 12-6pm
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