Building upon last year’s inaugural edition (20 May – 25 June 2017), this exhibition brings together artworks, prototypes and projects by artists, designers and thinkers from a range of different disciplines, in order to showcase fascinating and diverse creative responses to environmental concerns.
This dynamic show begins with an aerial performance of loop (commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh) by ballet dancer and choreographer Eve Mutso on the evening of the preview party. The marks she makes with her pointe shoes in graphite powder will remain in situ as a floor drawing, as part of the first section of the exhibition, which reflects on the interconnectedness of all living beings over a vast timescale.
Also on display in this first section is American artist Rachel Sussman’s epic visual timeline stretching back 750 million years; Norwegian artist Eline McGeorge’s montage and weaving works symbolising an environmental cycle of damage and repair; and British artist Tania Kovats’ vast sculptures of steel and salt which reflect the theory that Earth has one interconnected, self-regulating ocean.
Moving through the exhibition visitors will be introduced to environmental innovations, revealing new site-specific methods for understanding our domestic and local relationships to systems of production, systematic waste, and inadvertent pollution. Artist and designer Lucy Kimbell displays a fascinating prototype for domestic wallpaper that changes colour over time in response to UK air pollutants, and Andy Owen will present a new conceptual installation that takes a fresh look at innovations in farming domesticated livestock.
In the adjacent room there is a projection of Continuing Bodies, a lung shaped sculpture set in Oxford’s ancient woodland Wytham Woods. The sculpture was created using mycelium, which is being pioneered by bio-fabrication platform Ecovative as a sustainable building material that is grown rather than manufactured, and was made collectively by Modern Art Oxford’s How Nature Builds group participants.
The final gallery space will be used as a public studio, demonstrating ingenuity in the face of climate change as well as hosting events and activities that invite visitors to join in. Prototypes and working models on display include pioneering architectural biomimicry by Exploration Architecture, demonstrating the design and production of materials, structures and systems that are modelled on biological entities and processes.
Future Knowledge is part of the nationwide project Season for Change, which invites artists and arts organisations from across the country to explore climate change through creative presentation.