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Katie Paterson, The Cosmic Spectrum, 2019, spinning disk, printed vinyl, motor. Photo by Manu Palomeque. © Katie Paterson 2022. Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York

 

MYR – Multimedia artworks harness the vastness of time to explore humanity’s impact and longevity on Earth.

Deep time—the vast stream of non-human history that has shaped our world—collides with timely and evident human crises in the multimedia exhibition MYR. The artists on view bring science and speculation together to explore how deeper visions of space and time relate to contemporary existential anxieties, particularly the imminent climate emergency. Taking its title from the unit of measurement equaling one million years used in earth sciences and astrology, MYR presents diverse creative approaches to depicting the intersection of time, space, and life. The result thoughtfully de-centers humanity and instead places Earth as the protagonist of its story.

Guest curated by Elizabeth Thomas, MYR assembles artworks in a wide array of media that leverage science and technology to see through and beyond the Anthropocene—the current epoch in which humans have had dominant control over the environment. Speculative landscapes by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Candice Lin depict scenes of abundant flora and fauna—both on and beyond Earth—that might thrive in the absence of humanity. Tomás Saraceno’s floating sculpture Zonal Harmonic 1N 100/9 draws on a unifying gravitational model to offer the possibility of ecological harmony. Katie Paterson considers how the abstract essence of deep time can be envisioned through text, scent, and kinetic sculpture. Running concurrently in the Screening Room are six short films that explore related subjects including interspecies affinities, human histories of exploitation, and Indigenous futures. These works collectively complement and expand themes of metaphysics and the natural world found in MYR and throughout the McEvoy Family Collection.

FEATURED ARTISTS

Sophia Al Maria
Amy Balkin
Heather Dewey-Hagborg
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Rhonda Holberton
Candice Lin
Cannupa Hanska Luger
Katie Paterson
Tomás Saraceno
Miriam Simun
Cauleen Smith
Jenna Sutela
Sissel Marie Tonn

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Elizabeth Thomas is a Bay Area-based writer and curator with an interest in cross-disciplinary commissions across institutional and public contexts. Formerly the Director of Public Engagement at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, she organized a retrospective of Anna Halprin’s work and a large-scale orchestral work with Roscoe Mitchell. As MATRIX Curator at BAMPFA, Thomas worked with Trevor Paglen, Jill Magid, Futurefarmers, Ahmet Ogut, and Tomás Saraceno, among others. Public projects include Michael Rakowitz’s performance and radio show, Radio Silence, and Katharina Grosse’s Psychylustro, a five-mile painting viewed along a train corridor. The former Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at Carnegie Museum of Art and Curatorial Fellow at Walker Art Center, she has also organized exhibitions for the Andy Warhol Museum, MASS MoCA, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. She teaches Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts and previously at the San Francisco Art Institute.

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