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Curator Tour of “Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere”

February 22 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

About this Event

Curator Natalie Bell will guide us in this tour of an eclectic body of work that will open our minds to a different way of engaging with our surroundings.

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About the Exhibition

Craft makers and artists are always trapped between the symbiosis of materials and techniques needed to convey ideas and give visual meaning to a concept. Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere brings together over a dozen international artists whose work prompts us to reexamine our human relationships to the planet’s biosphere through the lens of symbiosis.

Symbionts are organisms of different species that are found together and that thrive through their interdependent relations. They include mutualists such as the bee and the apple blossom as well as microbial organisms that circulate in the atmosphere, oceans, and soil to make the oxygen we breathe. Symbionts can also hover as potential predators or bloom as parasites—all forms of entanglement considered by the artists in Symbionts.

Engaging living entities such as fungi or bacteria—some of which will transform artworks during the course of the exhibition—the artists in Symbionts represent a new generation of practitioners within bioart, exploring what it means to be interdependent, ceding individual control of an artwork in recognition of our more-than-human relations. The works in the exhibitions engage a biosphere dynamically modified by the growth of mushrooms, the blooming of algae, and the decomposition work of soil.

Blurring the boundaries between art and science, these artists unveil the critical interactions that give shape to our world and the interspecies entanglements that evolve it.

Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere is curated by Caroline A. Jones, Natalie Bell, and Selby Nimrod with research assistance by Krista Alba.

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February 22
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Society of Arts + Crafts
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MIT List Center for the Visual Arts
20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02142 United States
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