Charting the embrace and manipulation of technology by artists across generations, The Body Electric examines how screens have increasingly shifted ways we picture ourselves and understand our place in the world. Join us for an afternoon of artist talks to celebrate the opening of this new exhibition.
Artist Talk: Joan Jonas in conversation with Pavel Pyś
1 pm Free
Hear directly from video and performance art pioneer Joan Jonas as she looks back across her decades-long practice and the early work Funnel (1974).
Artist Talk: Zach Blas in conversation with Kris Paulsen
3 pm Free
Join Zach Blas and Kris Paulsen as they discuss Blas’s newly commissioned work, Icosahedron (2019), as well as the artist’s broader practice. An artificially intelligent crystal ball that predicts the future of prediction, the commission is inspired by Silicon Valley’s obsession with certain thinkers of the future such as Ayn Rand, Stewart Brand, Ray Kurzweil, and Michio Kaku. Coined by Blas as a meta-work to The Body Electric, Icosahedron speaks to contemporary society’s preoccupation with the future, viewed through the intersection between technology, fantasy, and science fiction.
Joan Jonas (b. 1936, New York) is a pioneer of performance and video art. She works in video, installation, sculpture, and drawing, often collaborating with musicians and dancers to realize improvisational works that are equally at home in the museum gallery and on the theatrical stage. Drawing on mythic stories from various cultures, Jonas invests texts from the past with the politics of the present. She received a BA from Mount Holyoke College (1958), attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1958–1961), and earned an MFA from Columbia University (1965). She is a professor emerita at MIT.
Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans technical investigation, theoretical research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. He is a lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings internationally, recently at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival; 2018 Creative Time Summit; MAXXI, Rome; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art in General, New York; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe.
Kris Paulsen is associate professor in the Department of History of Art and Film Studies Program at Ohio State University, where she teaches classes on contemporary art, new media, and curatorial practice. She is the author of Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface (MIT Press, 2017), which received the 2018 Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship. She has published widely on topics such as net art, guerrilla video, and artificial intelligence. From 2012 to 2016 she was codirector of the Center for Ongoing Research & Projects (www.the-corp.org), an experimental art space in Columbus, Ohio.