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Interface Nature

April 4 May 9, 2009

Reception: Friday, April 3, 7-9 pm, Press Preview 6-7 pm

Curated by Nina Horisaki-Christens

Featured artists: Jillian Conrad, Nicholas des Cognets, Lauren Davies, Lisa Dillin, Taro Hattori, Katarina Jerinic, Harri Kallio, Miranda Maher, B.J. Vogt, and Åsa Elzén & Markus Wetzel.

In the 1660s, Robert Boyle invented an air pump and forever changed the relationship between Western civilization and the environment. By subjecting humans and animals to scientific experiments, he demonstrated that no longer was the living world a place to be directly experienced, as in the tradition of “natural history”. Rather, an understanding of “nature” and natural laws could more accurately be achieved by witnessing and analyzing controlled experiments within constructed laboratories.  Today, the perceived categories of “man”, “animal”, and “nature” are ever more entrenched. Even as we march into an era of environmentalism and “green” living, and increase our awareness of the powers of the natural world, this basic dualism remains. Our species stands alone, separated from the rest of the world by our seemingly unique communication and reasoning abilities.

Using a variety of approaches, the artists included in Interface: Nature questioned the traditional Western division of humans from the rest of nature. Several works referenced our desire to impose foreign logic on natural experiences; others illuminate the failure of our bodies to function with animal efficiency. Some implied a danger inherent in this understanding of the world. Interface: Nature explored the contradictions and complexities of this human/nature conceptual divide in ways that are at once profound, unique, and amusing.

Lauren Davies

Miranda Maher