27 December 2020
The Phenomenon of Collective Intelligence in Nature and Culture
Conceptual artist Agnieszka Kurant will give a presentation focused on her practice in relation to the phenomena of collective intelligence in nature and culture.
Agnieska Kurant investigates collective intelligence, non-human intelligences (Artificial Intelligence, animal and microbial intelligence) and the exploitations of social capital under surveillance capitalism. She explores the transformations of the human and the future of labour and creativity in the 21st century. The artist probes how complex social, economic and ecological systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction and reality or nature and culture. Kurant investigates “the economy of the invisible,” in which immaterial and imaginary entities, fictions, phantoms and emergent processes influence political and economic systems. She probes the “unknown unknowns” of knowledge and the speculations and exploits of capitalism by integrating elements of science and philosophy, and analyzing certain phenomena — emergence, immaterial and digital labor, evolution of memes, civilizations and social movements, as well as flows of energy, information and capital and the editing process—as political acts. She explores the hybrid and shifting status of objects in relation to value, production, authorship, and circulation. Many of her works emulate nature and behave like living organisms, ecosystems or bachelor machines. Kurant is the recipient of the 2020 LACMA Art and Technology Award and the 2019 Frontier Art Prize. She is currently an artist fellow at the Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human program. In 2018 she was an artist in residence at MIT CAST and held a fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute. Her recent exhibitions include the Istanbul Biennial, and Milano Triennale. In 2015, Kurant presented a commission for the Guggenheim Museum façade in New York. In 2013-2014 she presented a major solo exhibition at the Sculpture Center in New York. In 2010 she co-represented Poland at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (with A.Wasilkowska). Her work was also exhibited at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Guggenheim Bilbao, Witte de With, Moderna Museet; Cleveland Biennial; MUMOK, Vienna; The Kitchen; Bonner Kunstverein; Grazer Kunstverein, Kunsthalle Meinz; Stroom Den Haag; MOMA in Warsaw; MOCA Detroit; CAC in Cincinnati; Mamco, Geneva; Frieze Projects, London; Performa Biennial, Momentum Biennial. Her upcoming projects include a major permanent public commission for MIT LIST Art Center in Cambridge (launching in June 2021) and a commission for Castello di Rivoli, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (November 2021). Currently her work is featured at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, as part of the exhibition Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI.