Curated by Paige Emery and Laure Michelon.
More than ever, the climate crisis highlights the need to think in new ways that are posthuman, or “other-than-human”. We must adopt alien, nonhuman, planetary, and intergenerational perspectives as our own. By what avenues can this openness be pursued, while at the same time, recognizing our limits? What new communication technologies and techniques can we embrace toward these ends? What types of languages might emerge from the growing consciousness of a global catastrophe of our own making?
Biosphere 2 is home to the largest closed ecological system ever created. It was built as a research facility for studying the environment of “Biosphere 1,” planet Earth. The 3.14-acre glass dome was originally meant to demonstrate the viability of ecological systems to support life in outer space. It consisted of a 2-year experiment that enclosed eight humans in artificial biomes. However, the anthropocentric attempt to create this observable environment turned out to be an overly-ambitious concept that could not materialize. With Biosphere 2 as the backdrop, this exhibition reflects on our current crisis-ridden condition, imagining how to respond with more-than-human ways that allow space for alterities that cannot be enclosed upon.
The relationship between Biosphere 1 (planet Earth) and Biosphere 2 (its closed-circuit copy) is not unlike how the world is modeled within our individual and collective minds. The relationship between nature ,including its biological infrastructure, and consciousness, the mind, and its technological byproducts, including language, reason, and art, has been at the core of debates in 21st-century philosophy. The exhibition cross-pollinates these two seemingly separate, yet deeply intertwined subjects. In doing so, Terra [Alterities] questions how to cultivate a more fertile space for reorienting ourselves anew to the humility required in the face of otherness and the intimacy necessary for encountering local, planetary, and post-planetary environments.