April 2015
Open back binding
Plastic cover
ISBN 978-986-04-443-8
700 NTD
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
no. 181, Zhongshan n. road sec. 3
Taipei 10461, Taiwan
+886 2 2595 7656

TAIPEI BIENNIAL 2014 -Guide Book

The Great Acceleration

Nicolas Bourriaud

Foreword by Chiang Yu-Fang, Acting Director, Taipei Museum of Art
Essays by Nicolas Bourriaud: The Politics of the Anthropocene, Humans, Things and Reification in Contemporary Art
Hengan Chen: The Great Acceleration: The Many Versions of Nature
Jo Hsiao: The Circuit Chart of The Great Acceleration

and some 300 pages on these artists and their works:
Harold Ancart (Belgium); Charles Avery (UK); Gilles Barbier (France); Alisa Baremboym (USA); Neïl Beloufa (Algeria/ France); Peter Buggenhout (Belgium); Roberto Cabot (Brazil); Patrick van Caeckenbergh (Belgium); En-Man Chang (Taiwan); Ian Cheng (USA); Ching-Hui Chou (Taiwan); Chun Teng Chu (Taiwan); Shezad Dawood (UK); David Douard (France); Camille Henrot (France); Roger Hiorns (UK); Xiao-Yuan Hu (China); Po-Chih Huang (Taiwan); Joan Jonas (USA); Hudinilson Jr. (Brazil); Tetsumi Kudo (Japan); Surasi Kusolwong (Thailand); An-My Lê (Vietnam/USA); Kuo-Wei Lin (Taiwan); Maria Loboda (Germany); Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe (USA); Jr-Shin Luo (Taiwan); Tala Madani (Iran/USA); Abu-Bakarr Mansaray (Sierra Leone/ Netherlands); Josephine Meckseper (Germany); Nathaniel Mellors (UK); Marlie Mul (Netherlands); Henrik Olesen (Denmark); OPAVIVARÁ! (Brazil); Ola Pehrson (Sweden); Hung-Chih Peng (Taiwan); Laure Prouvost (France/UK); Matheus Rocha Pitta (Brazil); Rachel Rose (USA); Pamela Rosenkranz (Switzerland); Mika Rottenberg (Argentina); Sterling Ruby (USA); Timur Si-Qin (Germany); Shimabuku (Japan); Peter Stämpfli (Switzerland); Nicolás Uriburu (Argentina); Yu-Chen Wang (Taiwan/UK); Chien-Ying Wu (Taiwan); Chuan-Lun Wu (Taiwan); Inga Svala Thórsdóttir & Wu Shanzhuan (Iceland/China); Haegue Yang (Korea); Anicka Yi (USA).
The extent and the acceleration of the industrialization process on the planet have led scientists to hypothesize a new geophysical era, the Anthropocene. The emergence of this new era, after ten thousand years of the Holocene, refers to the effect of human activities on the earth’s biosphere: global warming, deforestation, soil pollution... It is the structure of the planet itself that is being modified by humans, whose impact is now more powerful than any geological or natural force.
But the concept of the Anthropocene also points to a paradox: the more powerful and real the collective impact of the species is, the less contemporary individuals feel capable of influencing their surrounding reality. We are witnessing the collapse of the ‘human scale’: helpless in the face of a computerized economic system whose decisions are derived from algorithms capable of performing operations at the speed of light (‘high-frequency trading’ already accounts for nearly three quarters of financial activities in the United States), human beings have become spectators or victims of the structures they created. Thus, it leads to an unprecedented political coalition between human and non-human elements: a new subordinate class seems to be emerging, formed by citizens and animals, plants, minerals and the atmosphere, all attacked by a techno-industrial system now clearly detached from civil society.
The relationship between the living and the inert has become the main tension of contemporary culture, and artificial intelligence occupies the middle ground as an arbitrator. The artists of our time explore the circuitry of the living, or the properties of materials ‘informed’ by human activity. In political terms, they inject consciousness to all the areas human beings have vacated: computerized finance, mechanically regulated activities, policies fixed on the sole objective of profit.
This exhibition is organized around the cohabitation of humans with swarming animals, data processing, the rapid growth of plants and the slow movements of matter. It presents a world before human consciousness, mineral landscapes, vegetable transplants or couplings between humans, machines and animals. Human beings are only one element among others in a wide-area network, which is why we need to rethink and renegotiate our relational universe and reconsider the role of art in this new mental landscape. The artists living within the technosphere, as if it were a second ecosystem, place search engines and living cells, minerals and artworks on the same level of utility. What matters most to them is no longer things, but the circuits that distribute and connect them.
Good to study this excellent book to keep up with our times!
See the Agenda>

Posted 25 October 2015

Share this:

In my lecture How Glass changed the World, I use the Cambrian explosion as the relatively short evolutionary event, beginning around 542 million years ago in the Cambrian Period, during which most major animal phyla appeared, as indicated by the fossil record to explain the acceleration in time or how glass changed the world. Lasting for about the next 20–25 million years, it resulted in the divergence of most modern metazoan phyla. Additionally, the event was accompanied by major diversification of other organisms. Prior to the Cambrian explosion, most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organized into colonies. Over the following 70 to 80 million years, the rate of diversification accelerated by an order of magnitude and the diversity of life began to resemble that of today. (Source: Wikipedia)

In his openings text, The Politics of The Anthropocene – Humans, Things and Reification in Contemporary Art, Nicolas Bourriaud explains the impact of human activity on the planet and how we changed the earth’s biosphere by the action of our species. This crisis leaves us helpless in the face of a computerized economic system. The Anthropocene represents a new parameterization of conduct, a re-evaluation of our relationship with all the forces with which we must co-exist on the planet. “Since the turn of the century, artists seem to have started a new kind of dialogue with other forms of life, as well as objects – provided that these categories remain relevant in an art world swept up in such concepts as ‘animism’, ‘trans-humanism’, ‘post-internet’ art, and the currently ascendant ‘speculative realism’, which we shall consider here only in the context of its use in the discourse on aesthetics, where its main concepts are reflected in a sometimes distorted way.” Exploring materials as Jacques Lacan described in 1964 the world as ‘omnivoyeur’: “I see only from one point, but in my existence I am looked at from all sides.” Contemporary art plays host to a productive entanglement between human and non-human, a presentation of coactivity. What matters to the artists of our time are not things in themselves, but the circuits that distribute and connect them.

Bourriaud concluded: “It seems to me that the major political issue of the twenty-first century is precisely the return of humanity, to all the areas we have vacated: computerized finance, delivered in mechanical regulated markets, and primarily in policies fixed on the sole objective of profit – that is to say, the quantifiable world. A return, not to the centre – for nothing can be centre of a coactive universe, of multiple coexistences in a shared ecosystem ? but to the heart of these activities that are no longer ‘human’ in name.”

In the essay The Great Acceleration – The Many Versions of Nature, Hengan Chen explains how nature was examined by arts and science, ecology, the line between nature and culture, leaving The Great Acceleration not as a version of nature but rather time and direction. Acceleration is directional and the ‘great’ element is a tough burden to bear, even to the point of fracturing and producing disturbing imagery.

The essay The Circuit Chart of ‘The Great Acceleration’ – The Inner-Recognition of Complex Systems by Jo Hsiao, maps technology on robots, machines, computers, industry, matter and material, commodification, globalization, universalization…
In regarding this massive issue encompassing all humanity ‘The Great Acceleration’ both praises and criticizes this new world. This is an exhibition that abandons all standpoints and ideologies. It calls upon us to take a risk and delve into how artists think of our world… You have to change your way of reviewing, relinquishing ways of thinking that take things for granted, and face the magnificent head-on collisions bearing down on us in every new realm.

A well-made book, a must for all who want to understand contemporary art, inclusive textile and glass used in the works of the participants.
Angela van der Burght

Copyright © 2013-2019  Glass is more!        Copyright, privacy, disclaimer