UNITED STATES / New York / New Museum : Ed Atkins
by Modem
© Modem

until Sunday October 03 2021

New Museum of Contemporary Art
T : +1 (212) 219 1222
235 Bowery
10002 New York
United States


Over the past decade, Atkins has created a complex body of work that considers the relationship between the corporeal and the digital, the ordinary and the uncanny, through high-definition computer-generated (CG) animations, theatrical environments, elliptical writings, and syncopated sound montages. With these filmic and text-based artworks, Atkins tracks forms of feeling, living, and communicating hidden behind or curtailed by technological representation, which unspool into sensitive and often somber narratives.

Filling the Museum’s Fourth Floor gallery, the exhibition will premiere a new body of work made with technologies that profess to “capture” life, including a series of computer-generated animations recorded using motion- and facial-capture technologies that document interviews with a range of people who live in social isolation. With these CG renderings, Atkins tests the borders of digital communication and representation, looking to the ways technologies both mediate intimacy and control human relationships. The videos will be presented within a sculptural installation made from a scientifically engineered type of bread that lasts indefinitely. Inscribed with drawings, writings, and appropriated graffiti, this eternal foodstuff preserves transmissions of communication by more physical means. The video and the sculptural components each attempt to simulate life, either by means of digital reproduction or by initiating a controlled process of preservation and decay. By reimagining technology simultaneously as an existential threat and a form of sustenance, “Get Life/Love’s Work” will interrogate the limits and definitions of what constitutes communication and empathy today.

Atkins’s presentation will be the first in a series of exhibitions produced in collaboration with scientists, engineers, and researchers from the Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) program at Nokia Bell Labs to open up new possibilities in human communications. Inspired by the pioneering legacy of E.A.T., the series aims to channel the interdisciplinary spirit initiated in the 1960s by Bell Labs engineers in collaboration with artists such as John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Marta Minujín, Robert Rauschenberg, and Stan VanDerBeek.

© Modem