Uplift

Exhibition

Opening March 31, 7pm

The word 'uplift' may refer to a geological process in which a geographical area is raised as a consequence of plate tectonics. Within the genre of science fiction, 'uplift' signifies an upgrade in the capacities of a species or a civilization.

Swedish artist, writer and musician Johannes Heldén's multimedia work is situated at the intersection of geological forces and speculative fictions, often resulting in sombre and disquieting settings or dark ecological visions.

Deeply invested in the vast, destructive forces of the so-called Anthropocene, Heldén investigates the interconnections between human influences on landscapes and the non-human species dwelling within them. In Heldén's work, anthropocentric inscription expands so that it leaves the pages of the book in order to interfere with evolutionary forces, the codes and codings of life. In this unruly and potentially damaging state, however, language and narration also become that which escapes the human, merging with non-human forces, playing feral games of science fabulations. In these speculative fictions, the sovereignty of human authorship is questioned, opening up fields for terraforming: hypothetical planetary engineering processes in which any clear cut boundaries between animal, human and artificial agencies are brought to a collapse.

Field, 2015. *Mutations of Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus Monedula), in a gradual shift over 4 sculpture iterations. Eyes enlarged for better sight as ash clouds cover the sun, legs elongated as habitats are flooded, colour slowly changing to dark green for protection in new swamps, as they become land bound. Beak elongated as feeding habits change.

Field, 2015.

*Mutations of Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus Monedula), in a gradual shift over 4 sculpture iterations. Eyes enlarged for better sight as ash clouds cover the sun, legs elongated as habitats are flooded, colour slowly changing to dark green for protection in new swamps, as they become land bound. Beak elongated as feeding habits change.

Johannes Heldén is a visual artist, poet, musician. Born 1978, lives and works in Stockholm. Author of twelve books, most recently Astroecology (2016) which is published simultaneously in three languages and made into an interdisciplinary performance at the The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm and a digital artwork published by Bonniers Konsthall. Recipient of Swedens biggest art prize, the Åke Andrén fellowship, in 2015. The Evolution project won the inaugural N. Katherine Hayles prize in 2014.

His work has recently been shown at ISEA 2015 in Vancouver, HUMlab at Umeå University, Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Inspace in Edinburgh, NIMK in Amsterdam, The Gothenburg Museum of Art, Moderna Museet, UB Center for the Arts Buffalo NY, OEI Colour Project in Stockholm, The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art among others. Heldén has published three full-length music albums, most recently System (Irrlicht), and five extensive digital online works of poetry and visual art. He has performed and lectured around the world, including a Japan tour with his music. Performances in the US include Brown University, The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, The Media Archaelogy Lab in Boulder and others. Johannes Heldén is a fellow of The MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center of the Arts among others.