UNIVERSAL CODE: Art and Cosmology in the Information Age


Art and Cosmology in the Information Age
12 June – 30 August 2009

Artists: Adel Abdessemed, Franz Ackermann, Angela Bulloch, Mircea Cantor, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Cerith Wyn Evans, Henrik Håkansson, Antonia Hirsch, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ann Veronica Janssens, Kimsooja, Jed Lind, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Josiah McElheny, Tania Mouraud, Gabriel Orozco, Adrian Paci, Trevor Paglen, Katie Paterson, The Otolith Group, Fred Tomaselli, Keith Tyson.

Curated by Gregory Burke, Director, The Power Plant.

Artists have long been fascinated with the origin and nature of the universe. Timed to coincide with the International Year of Astronomy, the exhibition ‘Universal Code’ presents responses from a broad range of contemporary artists to cosmology and ideas of the universal in our current information age, a time of significant scientific and technological development as well as rampant globalization.

Whereas once the sky suggested the limitless, now a network of satellites enmesh the globe in a massive field of signals that unite the world in a “universal” web of telecommunications. Enabling instantaneous connection across vast distances, the new technologies also render visible what was formerly hidden at the bodily and even the cellular level. Corporate communications networks and digital technologies have in effect refigured the contemporary sense of the world and the universe by transforming historical understandings of time and space. In response to this current condition, ‘Universal Code’ presents artists who look back on the modern era to consider the universe, the infinite and the eternal from a range of differing religious, scientific, philosophical and cultural positions.

‘Universal Code’ is the latest in a series of summer exhibitions organized by The Power Plant that bring together Canadian and international artists from a variety of cultural positions to reflect on topics driving the development of contemporary culture. The exhibition includes artists who explore the intricate relationships between our evolving understandings of the cosmos; the production of scientific and cultural knowledge; cultural and religious belief systems; information technologies and global power relations. ‘Universal Code’ considers the response of artists to these relationships in the aftermath of globalization, reflecting the current complexity of the world we inhabit. Ultimately their response is poetic, positioning the universe as a void full of potential but also as a field riddled by elision and enigma.

ALL SUMMER, ALL FREE – Free gallery admission all summer thanks to the support of The Hal Jackman Foundation and Media Partner NOW Magazine.

Lead Donor: Nancy McCain & Bill Morneau
Support Donors: Laura Rapp & Jay Smith, Elisa Nuyten & David Dime, Garnet & Evan Siddall
Cultural Agency Supporter: Consulat Général de France à Toronto




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