During the Biennial, the Cinesphere becomes a world within a world, merging film and sound art with scent and changing atmospheric conditions. From cosmological origin stories, to a future in which civilization is extinct, The Drowned World contrasts deep time with the decline of global ecologies. The project’s title refers to J.G. Ballard’s 1962 archaeopsychic cli-fi novel in which the ice caps have melted and submerged the world, forcing the migration of a dwindling and devolving human species into the Canadian Arctic.
Prehistoric sounds; the sonification of a dying star; the submarine beats of Detroit’s bubble metropolis; the sacrifice of a muskrat; the love of an octopus. Within this brave new world, the artificial boundaries of modernity’s civilizations have evaporated, and life in all its forms continues to shift.
Complete schedule and details can be found HERE.
Guest curated by Charles Stankievech
With the creative and generous contribution of COMME des GARÇONS and MVS Proseminar, University of Toronto—John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
Aki Inomata is an artist and visiting researcher at Waseda University. Focusing on how the act of “making” is not exclusive to mankind, she develops collaborations with living creatures into artworks. Her major artworks include Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?, in which she created city-like shells for hermit crabs and I Wear the Dog’s Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair, in which the artist and her dog wear capes made out of each other’s respective hair. Her recent exhibitions include TheXXII Triennale di Milano; Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival; Aki Inomata, and Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?, at Musée d’arts de Nantes, France, 2018.
Alfredo Ramos Fernández was born in 1964 in Havana. He lives and works in Berlin. He earned a Geography graduate degree and worked for a time as a researcher at the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. From 1993 to 2001, he worked with theater groups, but in 2001 he devoted himself entirely to his photographic work. Recent exhibitions include Fabrica de Arte Cubano; ESMOA, California; Das Esszimmer Raum für Kunst, Bonn; Robert Mann Gallery, New York; Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco; PuNcTuM Espacio, Mexico City, as well as the Fototeca de Cuba, Havana. He is represented in the collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Cuba among other collections.
Alvin Lucier has pioneered in many areas of music composition and performance, including the notation of performers’ physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, the generation of visual imagery by sound in vibrating media, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes. From 1968 to 2011, he taught at Wesleyan University, where he was John Spencer Camp Professor of Music. Alvin Lucier was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Plymouth, England.
Apitchatpong Weerasethakul lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Working in the space between cinema and contemporary art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul creates installations, videos, short and feature films that are often non-linear and transmit a strong sense of dislocation and otherworldliness. Through the manipulation of time and light, Weerasethakul constructs tenuous bridges for the viewer to travel between the real and the mythical, the individual and the collective, the corporeal and the chimeric. His art projects and feature films have won him widespread recognition and numerous festival prizes, including three from the Cannes Film Festival.
Aryo Danusiri is a video artist and anthropologist. His works have been exploring the mobilities of keywords, violence, and memory in reconfiguring the political and social landscape of post-authoritarian Indonesian in 1998. Those works have been exhibited both in theater and gallery settings including (selected) Yamagata New Asia Current HKW Berlin; Camera Austria; Ethnographic Terminalia, Toronto; Mead Festival NYC and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. At present, he is completing his Ph.D. in the Social Anthropology program and Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL) at Harvard University.
Brandon Poole is a Master of Visual Studies candidate (2020) at the University of Toronto. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria. He was shortlisted for both the 2016 and 2017 Presentation House Gallery’s Phil B. Lind Emerging Artist prize. and is a recent recipient of a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant.
Charles Stankievech‘s diverse body of work, which includes installations, curatorial projects and performance lectures, has been shown internationally at institutions including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and documenta, and the Berlin, Venice and SITE Santa Fe Biennials. He was twice a finalist for the Sobey Art Prize, and his curatorial project CounterIntelligence and his solo exhibition Monument as Ruin won OAAG best exhibition awards, in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) was born to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the antisemitic violence they endured, the family fled to Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign service, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil’s greatest modern writer.
Cyprien Gaillard studied in Lausanne and lives and works in Berlin. He has been the recipient of a number of awards, including Melbourne International Film Festival Award for Best Experimental Short and the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst. Solo exhibitions include: MoMA PS1; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Tate Modern, London. Major group shows include the Venice Biennial; Biennale de Lyon; Gwangju Biennial; and the Berlin Biennale.
Dark Morph is the project name for Jónsi Birgisson and Carl Michael von Hausswolff’s work, developed between 2018 and 2019, as an attempt to collaborate with inhabitants, environments and activists concerned about catastrophic pollution and the destruction of the oceanic world. The name Dark Morph is taken from a type of Fijian heron. Dark Morph is in collaboration with TBA21-Academy. The duo’s first album premiered live at Ocean Space, an installation at the Church of San Lorenzo in Venice, May 2019.
Drexciya (1992-2002), a duo based in Detroit, became one of the most celebrated and influential names in American experimental techno. One of the few groups to use techno as a political tool in effecting criticism of racial inequity and inner-city recovery, Drexciya brought a wider social and aesthetic agenda to a style in which allegiance to the beat is typically the only prerequisite. Closely associated with the label Underground Resistance, and operating in the classically covert tradition of “faceless” techno (the pair’s identities remain a mystery), the music found release through such internationally renowned labels as Warp, Rephlex, Tresor and Clone.
J.G. Ballard (1930-2009) was born in Shanghai and lived in England from 1946 until his death in London. In 1954, he was stationed with the Royal Air Force in Moose Jaw, Canada where he discovered science fiction magazines on the military base. He is the author of nineteen novels, including Empire of the Sun, The Drought, and High Rise, with many of them made into major films, including Crash directed by David Cronenberg.
James Tenney (1934–2006) was a pioneer in the field of electronic and computer music, working with Max Mathews and others at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in the early sixties to develop programs for computer sound-generation and composition. He wrote works for a variety of media, both instrumental and electronic, many of them using alternative tuning systems. He was the author of several articles on musical acoustics, computer music, and musical form and perception. A teacher since 1966, he was Distinguished Research Professor at York University (Toronto), where he taught for twenty-four years, and last held the Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Musical Composition at the California Institute of the Arts.
Jean Painlevé (1902-1989) studied medicine, physics and geology. He was a pioneer of scientific cinema, who managed to defend the film medium as a serious means of research within the scientific community. From 1925 to 1982, Jean Painlevé made more than 200 films, mainly dedicated to the marine world. He projected his vision of society onto nature, giving an ironic colour to his strange and brutal films. He was a dissident of the Surrealist group and refused André Breton’s authority.
Julian Charrière, born in Morge, Switzerland, currently lives and works in Berlin. A former student of Olafur Eliasson and participant of the Institut für Raumexperimente, Charriére has exhibited his work at the Parasol Unit, London; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; TBA21 in Vienna; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; 12th Biennale de Lyon; and the Venice Biennale. Charrière was awarded the Kiefer Hablitzel Award / Swiss Art Award in both 2013 and 2015. In 2018, he won the GASAG prize at the Berlinischer Galerie.
Jumana Manna (born in Princeton, NJ, USA; lives in Berlin, Germany) is a Palestinian artist whose work shifts between sculpture and film, body and land, narrative and form. Her practice explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of nationalism and histories of place. Manna is a graduate of CalArts, Valencia and Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
Katarzyna Badach was born in Gdansk, Poland in 1975. Badach works predominantly in the medium of painting. She completed the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany with distinction as Meisterschülerin of Prof. Helmut Dorner in 2001. Her work has been presented internationally. Recent exhibitions include Until we grow wings at Galerie Raskolnikow, Dresden; Caída Libre at Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana; Cubanscapes at Christa Burger Gallery, München; and Compositions, Horst Merkle Gallery, Stuttgart. She is represented in the collections of the Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe, among others. She lives and works in Havana, Cuba and Berlin, Germany.
Lisa Rave lives and works in Berlin. In 2017, she was a fellow at TBA21–Academy The Current, in 2016, a fellow at the KHM, and a 2014 fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. She studied Experimental Film at the University of the Arts Berlin with Heinz Emigholz, and photography at Bard College New York. Her recent screenings and exhibitions include Ozeanische Gefühle, Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt; 12×12 Video Art, Berlinische Galerie; Third from the Sun, Views, and Prospects of the Anthropocene, mumok Vienna (2019); Oceans: Imagining a tidalectic worldview, Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik; face value transmediale at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin; The Oceanic Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2018); and I Taste the Future, Lofoten International Art Festival LIAF (2017). Rave currently works at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg.
Marguerite Humeau lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Tate Britain; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK; and, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery, London; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Château de Versailles; Les Abattoirs Musée FRAC Occitanie, Toulouse; High Line, New York; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Manifesta 11, Zurich; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and elsewhere. Humeau received the Zurich Art Prize in 2017, and the Battaglia Foundry Sculpture Prize in 2018.
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää (1943-2001), known as Áillohaš in the Northern Sami language, was born into a reindeer herding family. He played an important role in the revitalization of the traditional Sámi yoik, which he described as: “A way to calm reindeer. To frighten wolves. The yoik is used to recall friends, even enemies.” The yoik steps into another spiritual world. He was awarded the Prix Italia for the composition Goase dušše (The Bird Symphony) in 1993 and performed at the opening ceremony for the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer. He was awarded the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for his lyrical work Beaivi, áhčážan (The Sun, My Father).
Pauline Oliveros‘ (1932-2016) career spanned fifty years of boundary dissolving music making. In the sixties she influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. She founded “Deep Listening“ as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible, to hear no matter what you are doing. She was the recipient of four Honorary Doctorates and among her many awards was the William Schuman Award for Lifetime Achievement, Columbia University, New York.
Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are London based artists working across objects, installation and film that explore process of production as cultural, personal and political practices. Their work was recently shown at the Renaissance Society in Chicago; Serpentine Cinema, London; Fotomuseum, Winterthur; Para Site, Hong Kong; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; HKW, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Congo International Film Festival. It is part of the permanent collections of the MoMA, New York and M+ Museum in Hong Kong.
The World Soundscape Project was established as an educational and research group at Simon Fraser University during the late sixties and early seventies. The original group of researchers included: R. Murray Schafer, Hildegard Westerkamp, Barry Truax, Howard Broomfield, Peter Huse and Bruce Davis. Their recordings were composed first of local tapes recorded in Vancouver, then in villages across Europe and on a tour across Canada. Over the decades, the catalogue of recordings continued to increase, including returning to the same sites to measure the difference in the soundscapes due to human development.
Ville Kokkonen is a Finnish industrial designer born in Helsinki and based in Zurich. Since starting his own practice in 2004, Kokkonen has worked with leading companies in the field of design and technology, focusing on strategic design and product development, with clients such as Nokia, Iittala, Wärtsilä, Elixair, Ensto, Stora Enso and UPM. Between 2005 to 2014 Kokkonen worked with Artek, first running its R&D program and from 2008 onwards as Design Director of the company. Ville Kokkonen currently holds the position of Professor of Practice at Aalto University, School of Arts Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland.
Whatever is a creative studio that makes whatever. Based in Tokyo, New York, Taipei, and Berlin, they are a team of multidisciplinary designers, coders, engineers, and producers with years of global experience. Together, they encompass a wide-ranging gamut of technical and design skills, allowing “us to come up with dream-like concepts that we can bring to life.”