5TH URAL INDUSTRIAL BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART

For a Multitude of Futures: Overcome the Limits of Immortality

Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant (33B Vostochnaya St., Ekaterinburg)
“Coliseum” cinema (43 Lenin Ave., Ekaterinburg)
September 12 – December 1, 2019

Anticipating the arrival of Homo Deus, the super human, the agenda of transhumanist eternity calls for technological acceleration to overcome death. This aim towards the Singularity—the idea that humans will be enhanced, overtaken, and replaced by artificial or biological intelligence—is deeply paradoxical: while it points to the possibility of overcoming death with the help of machines and bioengineering, it also signals a crisis of “humanity,” since what is “human” increasingly reveals its “backwardness” in relation to technological development. Taking this paradox as point of departure, For A Multitude of Futures examines our increasingly hegemonized relationship with modern technology.

In order to open up the possibilities for different futures, this exhibition proposes a radical re-imagination of life and death, and of our materialist pursuit of immortality. It challenges transhumanist immortality’s universal claim, which synchronizes different temporalities into a singular future and equates death to total annihilation and denies its emotional, memorial, intellectual, and cultural resonances. The confinement of the concept of technology to machines, screens, tablets, and artificial intelligence—external tools for humans to overcome nature, time, and death—represses its complex meanings and traditions in different, especially non-Western cultures, from ways of organizing knowledge based on astronomical events and natural phenomena, to the crafting of objects that are both functional and spiritual, to the ritual and burial practices to celebrate death. Echoing philosopher Yuk Hui’s proposal to employ the conceptual tool of cosmotechnics, which he defines as “the unification between the cosmic order and the moral order through technical activities,” For A Multitude of Futures engages these technological modes of thinking as agencies for humans to communicate with, but not to dominate, the cosmos.

Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant. Photo: Sergey Poteryaev
Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant. Photo: Sergey Poteryaev
Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant
Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant
Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant

Across the exhibition, a series of interwoven and intersecting protagonists and storylines, in their iterative and recursive choreography, creates a constellation of relationships, parameters, and experiences: the Fire; Violence and the Mushroom Clouds; the Butterfly and the Museum; Time; the Undead; Labor and Boredom; the Mirror and the Clear Mirror; the Jellyfish; Memory and Anamnesis; Forgotten Craftsmanship and Knowledge; the Metamorphosing Lives. Together, they provoke, poeticize, and invite us to overcome the limits of immortality into a plurality of futures.

 

CURATOR:

Xiaoyu Weng

 

ARTISTS:

Zarouhie   Abdalian &   Joseph   Rosenzweig   |   Agency   of   Singular   Investigations (Stanislav   Shuripa, Anna   Titova)  |   Carlos   Amorales   |   Petr   Antonov   |   Evgeny   Antufiev &   Lyubov   Nalogina   |   Elena   Artemenko   |   Aram   Bartholl   |   Yin‑Ju   Chen   |   Anya   Cherepanova &   Vitalik   Cherepanov   |   Ali   Cherri   |   Bruce   Conner   |   Danilo   Correale   |   Vladislav   Efimov   |   Ilya   Fedotov-Fedorov   |   Cyprien   Gaillard   |   Claudia   Martínez   Garay   |   Felix   Gonzalez-Torres   |   Gorod   Ustinov   |   Ivan   Gorshkov   |   Ilya   Grishaev   |   He   Xiangyu   |   Francisco   Camacho   Herrera   |   James   T.   Hong   |   Chia-Wei   Hsu   |   Geumhyung   Jeong   |   Tarik   Kiswanson   |   Egor   Kraft   |   Gabriel   Lester   |   Liu   Chuang   |   Liu   Qingyuan   |   Qinmin   Liu   |   Pan   Lu &   Bo   Wang   |   Cristina   Lucas   |   Tala   Madani   |   Jill   Magid   |   Ksenia   Markelova   |   Chris   Marker &   Alain   Resnais   |   Sara   Modiano   |   Yuko   Mohri   |   Christian   Nyampeta   |   Adrian   Piper   |   Pavel   Pepperstein   |   Ivan   Petrokovich   |   Gala   Porras-Kim   |   Charlotte   Posenenske   |   Diana   Fonseca   Quiñones   |   Araya   Rasdjarmrearnsook   |   The   Recycle   Group   |   Ana   Roldán   |   Roee   Rosen   |   Maria   Safronova   |   Aki   Sasamoto   |   Kirill   Savchenkov   |   Masha   Sedyaeva   |   Lieko   Shiga   |   Shimabuku   |   Alexander   Shishkin-Hokusai   |   Timur   Si-Qin   |   Nikolay   Smirnov   |   Maria   Taniguchi   |   Diana   Thater   |   Anastasiya   Tsayder   |   Franco   Vaccari   |   Stan   VanDerBeek   |   Anton   Vidokle   |   Peter   Watkins   |   Wong   Ping   |   Ustina   Yakovleva   |   Yan   Xing   |   Arseny   Zhilyaev

 

CURATORIAL SUPPORT:

Maria Domracheva, Kevin Wu, Elena Golub

TECHNICAL SUPPORT:

Alexander Kostylev, Pavel Luzhin, Alexey Bocharov, Vyacheslav Pavlovich, Maria Zarapina