May the other live in me
22 June — 10 October 2021
Moscow, New Tretyakov Gallery

Organizers:

LABORATORIA Art&Science Foundation

State Tretyakov Gallery

Curator:

Daria Parkhomenko

Artists:

Marina Abramović (Serbia/ USA)
Ralf Baecker (Germany)
Danja Vasiliev (Russia/ Germany)
Agnes Meyer-Brandis (Germany)
Helena Nikonole (Russia)
Nina Rajcic (Australia)
Saša Spačal (Slovenia)
Jenna Sutela (Finland)
Art Orienté objet (France)
::vtol:: (Russia)
0(rphan)d(rift>) (UK)

General Partner:
Technical Partner:
Supported by:

«Recuperation is still possible, but only in multispecies alliance, across the killing divisions of nature, culture, and technology and of organism, language, and machine»

Donna Haraway

Contemporary man can no longer see himself as a lord of creation, but as part of a wider community comprised of a multitude of both biological lifeforms and technical systems. The previously invisible links that maintained our planet’s eco-systems are under threat: our climate is changing; biotic communities are collapsing as the species crucial to their existence fall into rapid decline. Old Anthropocentric approach to our relationship with the Other must change – in place of control, subjugation and motivation, we need to find new ways of working with the non-human.

We have never truly been alone: we have always been surrounded by a multitude of companions, organic and inorganic. The search for new ways of communication with the Other not only guarantees mutual survival and prosperity, it expands the boundaries of our understanding and self-knowledge.

How can we develop an awareness of ourselves as part of an ever more complex and dynamic relationship with the Other: from plants and bacteria to minerals and AI? The non-human communicates differently than us, so new languages and interfaces are needed. Artists, scientists, engineers and specialists in machine learning are coming together to propose these new interfaces and give viewers a chance to experience them.

The artists whose work is featured in this exhibition integrate visitors into hybrid communities; part human, part non-human, part semiotically engineered systems that act as intermediaries between them. Once, this was the role of the Shaman (‘Shamanism is essentially a form of cosmic diplomacy’), who allowed the voice of the Others to enter. Today, that place can be taken by modern technologies that bring the Others to life in us.

Art works invite viewers to open themselves to the Other and explore many new pathways of interaction with it, revealing and feeling of unity with all Earth’s creatures. Thinking and acting in accordance with this unity, no longer building barriers between us and the Other, is the only means of survival on a damaged planet.

The eleven large-scale projects presented at the exhibition bring artists together with scientists and engineers to invent new technological interfaces for interaction and collaboration with non-human agents. They help radically different natural entities make contact and try to understand one another.

Specially for the exhibition, artist Danya Vasiliev created a new work — the installation WannaScry! — in collaboration with Kaspersky Lab, a long-term partner of Laboratoria Art & Science.

Artworks

We have identified three artistic strategies that can help us to enter into dialog with the Other.

Observation

You can see what is hidden from mankind: thanks to AI, you can visualize the magnetic field of the Earth; you can feel the magnetite through the eyes of robot; the digital footprints of other visitors are preserved within the memory of a Palantir; and AI is reimagined from the perspective of an octopus.

Dialog

You can communicate with things whose languages are understood by us for the first time: appear as a tree to another tree; using AI, attempt to understand the language of birds; witness a dialog between AI, bacteria and psychic; observe an experiment on synchronisation of brain activity via non-verbal communication; and receive a poetic message from AI specially tailored to your emotional state.

Symbiosis

Symbiosis — the most engaging interaction, in which the artist offers viewers the chance to become one with the Other. See how the artist mixes her blood with a horse’s blood, boost your happiness hormone levels by breathing in soil bacteria, and integrate your microbiome into the ecosystem of an installation.

As a part of a public educational program of the exhibition the international interdisciplinary conference “Art&Science: The Art of Communication to the Other” took place. Conference raised questions of cohabitation, hybridity, multispecies dialogue and surviving together.

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