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Human non Human

Finished 20 January 2019
Powerhouse Museum

Art, science and speculation converge in Human non Human, an exhibition that asks the questions: What makes us human? How might humans adapt in the future?

Addressing four fundamental aspects of human experience: Food, Work, Sex and Belief, Human non Human responds to the impact of accelerating technology, connectivity and a rapidly changing environment.

Featuring artists Dr Lindsay Kelley, Liam Young, Maria Fernanda Cardoso and Dr Ken Thaiday Snr with Jason Christopher, these works combine many perspectives, including architecture, design, biotechnology, botany, chemistry, film and performance. This series of immersive installations offer space in which to consider the past, present and possible futures of human and non-human relationships.

This project is an outcome of the Australian Research Council Linkage Grant Curating Third Space: The Value of Art-Science Collaborations in partnership with University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art and Design. The exhibition has been curated by Katie Dyer, MAAS, and Dr Lizzie Muller, UNSW.

Part of Sydney Science Festival 2018

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Human non Human Interactive

View this interactive that charts many interconnected ideas stimulated by the exhibition.

FOOD – Dr Lindsay Kelley

Dr Lindsay Kelley’s Ballistic Bundts installation invokes a kitchen of the past and a kitchen of the future to question how the experience of eating changes when technologies are changing. Featuring cakes made from ballistic gel, which mimics the density of human flesh to test projectile weapons, her inedible delicacies invoke the close relationships between food and military technologies.

SEX – Maria Fernanda Cardoso

In On the Marriages of Plants series Maria Fernanda Cardoso references Carl Linnaeus’ (1707-1778) taxonomic systems for categorizing plants and flowers in dialogue with recent research into human/plant reciprocal relationships. Using deep focus photography to capture the sex organs of flowers, Cardoso explores the beauty, seduction and biological imperative of reproduction and survival.

WORK – Liam Young

The creation of computer generated imagery (CGI) for gaming, films and television is increasingly outsourced from the West to a huge workforce of animators in India. Liam Young’s Renderlands explores the real places in which the imaginary worlds of the entertainment industry are made. Reconfiguring discarded digital assets Young considers how the built environment is evolving in response to changes in the global market place, workflows and networks.

BELIEF – Dr Ken Thaiday Sr and Jason Christopher

Beliefs inform the relationship we have with science and technology and also ethical, spiritual, ecological and social practices. Dr Ken Thaiday Sr, is a senior Erub man from the Torres Strait Islands whose headdresses and recent robotic works made with Jason Christopher merge traditional practices and Christian symbolism with contemporary technologies to make autonomous dance machines. The transformational aesthetics of these totems show the adaptability and resilience of cultural forms in the face of technological development, and the deep histories of body augmentation and transformation.

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