Monthly Archives: October 2020

Pratt GAUD: Pratt Parallels

Please join the GAUD on Thursday, October 22 from 3pm – 5pm on Governors Island for the second andfinal event in this fall’s Pratt Parallels series: RE:DO. This event will bring together curator and writer Beatrice Galilee (founder and executive director of The World Around), curator Amanda McDonald Crowley (Swale Barge and Governors Island), and artist Jemila MacEwan (collaboration with New York Virtual Volcano Observatory) for a discussion moderated by GAUD Chairperson, David Erdman and GAUD MS Programs Coordinator Ariane Harrison. Using the two scales of alteration to existing structures and grounds across the island and encapsulated in the RE:Coring and RE:Grounding exhibitions, this talk will focus on environmental justice as it relates to the RE:DO. 
Re:Do gathers around the theme of curating, exhibiting and designing design in the face of human extinction. Alteration and adaptation point to both a conceptual shift in cultural production, away from newness and tabula-rasa thinking, and to an architectural strategy engaging materiality for its aesthetic, economic and social affect. In this context, Re:Do suggests that the act of revisiting, revising and returning to a given condition, can ground new cultural production; it also underscores the “doing,” the active remaking of the built environment with a concern for global co-existence.

These issues are proposed for discussion and highlight the role of curation and exhibition. Re:Coring proposes adaptation of historic houses with the inclusion of a new type of service core, one that allies ecological services (water capture, water filtration, air purification) with what would traditionally be conceived as building service core; these cores introduce multiple species into the domestic interior arguing for greater coexistence among species as a critique of the envelope as a enclose for humans only. RE: Grounding similarly dismantles human enclosure at the scale of Governors Island, exploring how machine vision sees the development areas of the island as patches of multi-species habitat. This work from the GAUD is brought into dialogue with work by Swale, which moves design onto the water, with a barge of biodiverse and edible surfaces among other exhibitions, and Jemila MacEwan’s work entitled ‘Dead Gods”: a series of living monumental sculptures that honor the Prototaxite – a gigantic prehistoric mushroom – as our mutual ancestor and the generator of life on earth.

These works stage a variety of responses to climate-crisis, actions that are fundamentally optimistic in light of apocalyptic conditions of flood, pandemic and wildfire occurring recently and simultaneously in North America. The context for “Re:do-ing” is therefore framed by discourse: Galilee’s The World Around engages design to adapt to the paradoxical scales of climate change. She orchestrates dialogues that challenge the bias of culture and data in design. Amanda McDonald Crowley focuses on research based practices that integrate art and technology with environmental themes such art and food including Agrikultura, in Malmö, Sweden, the exhibition food nostalgia, at Radiator Gallery in Long Island City, NYC, Circuit of the Senses, in Omaha, Nebraska, and GastroLabs, a program series developed with New Media Scotland for the Edinburgh Science Festival.

The event will be livestreamed on the School of Architecture Events Youtube Channel.

Participant Bios:
Beatrice Galilee
 is a curator, critic and cultural consultant specializing in the field of contemporary architecture and design. Beatrice is internationally recognized for her worldwide experience in curating, designing and conceiving original and dynamic city-wide biennales, museum exhibitions, installations, conferences, events and publications, bringing together the world’s most important institutions with cutting edge practitioners. Her research and writing has been published in journals, newspapers and magazines.
She is the founder and executive director of The World Around, a New York-based conference and platform for cultural discourse whose critically acclaimed first event took place in January 2020. Between 2014-2019, Beatrice was the first curator of contemporary architecture and design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where she organized exhibitions and installations on the Met Rooftop, and public programs of contemporary architecture, art, photography, film and design , launched the acclaimed public program for architecture, In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day, as well as acquisitions and collections research. Beatrice was Chief Curator of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Close, Closer an exhibition that examined the plurality and diversity of contemporary architectural practice; co-curator of 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, Design is Design is Not Design; co-curator of 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, City Mobilization. She curated the 2019 Designs of the Year exhibition at London’s Design Museum, and the experimental performance design projects Hacked and Afrofuture at Milan Design Weeks 2011 and 2012. Between 2010-2012 she launched and co-directed The Gopher Hole, an experimental exhibition and project space in London
Amanda McDonald Crowley is a cultural worker, curator, and educator who works at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Amanda also supports public art platforms that bring together professionals and amateurs from varied disciplines to generate dialogue and create space for audience engagement. Amanda is currently working with Mary Mattingly on Swale; Ligorano Reese on School of Good Citizenship; has advisory roles on artist-led projects including Vibha Galhotra’s S.O.U.L Foundation, Delhi; Juanli Carrión’s OSS Project NY; Di Mainstone’s Human Harp, UK; and in 2019 curated Amy Khoshbin’s TinyScissors pop-up tattoo parlor for Detroit Art Week, and in 2021 has been commissioned to curate the exhibition for SLSA2021 at U Michigan. Amanda has held leadership positions with Eyebeam in NYC, Australian Network for Art and Technology, ISEA2004, Helsinki, Adelaide Festival 2002, and has done curatorial residencies at HIAP (Finland), Santa Fe Art Institute (USA), Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), Sarai (India), and Banff Center for the Arts (Canada).
Jemila MacEwan is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York. MacEwan is known for their intimately interwoven earthworks, sculptures and performances that build mythological narratives around meteorites, volcanoes, and glaciers. These stories engage with the emotional complexity of being human within the Holocene extinction. MacEwan is a recipient of The Marten Bequest Scholarship. Their work has been presented globally, including; ARoS Museum (Denmark), Australian Consulate-General, Pioneer Works, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and Skaftfell Center (Iceland). Notable residencies include; the BANFF Center, NARS Foundation, and Ox-Bow School of Painting. They have received grant awards from Australia Council for the Arts, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, and Ian Potter Cultural Council.
Their work ‘Dead Gods’  honors the prehistoric mushrooms that play a significant role in the origin of life on earth as sacred ancestral deities. In a moment when we are collectively grappling with the likelihood that one million species will become extinct within decades, the work addresses ancient terrestrial fungi that gave rise to the vast diversity of plant and animal species that exist today. The impact of mycelium as the one of the greatest shapers of the living world can be seen enmeshed throughout all ecosystems on our planet. During past extinction epochs that occurred through dramatic atmospheric changes that darkened the skies, mycelium acted as a life-raft species as they are one of the few life forms that do not require sunlight to survive. Perhaps even more profound is the way early plants and their fungal partners changed our atmosphere over deep time by lowering carbon dioxide and increasing oxygen composition.

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