Skip to content

World of Matter



Ashley Dawson, a prof at CUNY and a friend of Superstorm Research Lab, has helped organize “World of Matter,” an exhibit and conference mixing art and academe at the CUNY Graduate Center. Come on Tuesday, September 9th for the reception and book launch, and Wednesday for the conference. Details:

World of Matter

Tue, Sep 9, 6-8pm Exhibition Reception & Book Launch with the artists

James Gallery. 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street, New York, NY, 10016.

The world we inhabit is expanding. Global population growth, increased mobility, accelerated contacts, rising levels of production and consumption, and the expansion of natural resource extraction have had a significant impact in environmental, social and psychological terms. What forms of interaction with the material world acknowledge that there are limits to what we, as humans, might know and control?

Participants in World of Matter draw upon methodologies from the social and natural sciences, journalism, and also poetics and aesthetics, to scrutinize zones of geopolitical-ecological upheaval. The research conducted by the artists, journalists and theorists in World of Matter coheres around a sensitive reconsideration of the planet’s “resources.” Their projects adopt a variety of formats and strategies to delve into relations between humans and the world, in some cases by way of historical narratives, in others, through scientific laboratory research, community collaboration, visualization technologies, or activist organization. These experiments animate an emerging notion of artistic global citizenship, breaking up well-worn patterns of representation by embracing a plethora of aesthetic, conceptual and interventionist engagements with “matter.”

World of Matter artists are Mabe Bethônico, Ursula Biemann, Uwe H. Martin & Frauke Huber, Helge Mooshammer & Peter Mörtenböck, Emily Eliza Scott, Paulo Tavares, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan. This exhibition is made possible in part by the Center for the Humanities, the Ph.D. Program in English, and the Center for Place Culture and Politics. Exhibition continues until Nov 1st.

Wed, Sep 10, 9:30am-6pm Radical Materialism: Making the World Matter 

Images and words may be reportage, witness, representation, and simultaneously also constructive, connective, material reality. Their participation in global ecologies is at the heart of this day-long conference with visual artists, literary scholars, art historians, designers, geographers, activists and writers. In tandem with the exhibition World of Matter, on view in the James Gallery at the Graduate Center, CUNY, the conference is an inquiry into visual and textual creations that approach environmental crisis as a material question with deep roots and profound consequences for the changing life of Earth.

Speakers include Omar Dahbour, Elizabeth Ellsworth, Ashley Dawson, T.J. Demos, David Joselit, Jamie Kruse, Kate Orff, Jennifer Wenzel, and World of Matter artists. This conference is made possible in part by the Center for the Humanities, the Ph.D. Program in English, and the Center for Place Culture and Politics, and the Speculative Realism and Accelerationism Seminar in the Humanities.