The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson is pleased to present GROPING in the DARK curated by Alex Young. GROPING in the DARK addresses human land use and the effects of the modification of Earthly matter upon interdependent ecologies of mind, society, and environment. The exhibition serves as an experimental presentational platform for artist-researchers whose ecological practices are informed by and actively agglomerate a diverse array of disciplines and media in examining world systems and developing new models of being-in-the-world. Spanning an array of inquiries into planetary scaled networks, agricultural engineering, multi-species entanglements, and the simultaneous expansion and collapse of anthropogenic space, the works collected for this exhibition take the form of in-depth ecological open works wherein their subjects are continuously observed, reexamined, acknowledged as far from fully knowable, and the assumed whole is always less than the sum of its parts. GROPING in the DARK is presented in response to our ecological moment and present reactionary political climate. In stark contrast to a backdrop of manifest anti-egalitarianism, hetero/cis-normative gender constructs, xenophobia, and speciesism, GROPING in the DARK gathers artist-researchers actively exploring plausible worlds through social ecology and multi-species intersectionality, migration, placemaking, and resilience.
The title of this exhibition is borrowed from the 1982 publication Groping in the Dark: The first decade of global modelling—produced as the conference proceedings for the Sixth International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis Symposium on Global Modelling—collaboratively authored by Donella Meadows, John Richardson, and Gerhart Bruckmann. Released ten years after Meadows co-authored The Limits to Growth—the foundational report on the findings of the World3 systems dynamics computer model simulating interactions between human population, industrial and economic growth, food resources, and the limits of earth ecosystems—Groping in the Dark was created as an experimental guide for the production of new world models and the modelling of new worlds. Constructed as a patchwork of disparate-yet-interconnected texts ranging from reports on major works and methodologies in global modelling, to ruminations on the contradictions and limitations of the burgeoning field, to a list of the editors’ respective biases—Groping in the Dark provided an abundance of entry points into then-current attempts to understand and create change within complex social and environmental systems. In a manner akin to its namesake, this exhibition joins practitioners and projects that employ diverse modes of thinking in the examination of how humans modify Earth systems and how we might better model new worlds. Photo credits: “Wild Relatives” by Jumana Manna, “CASH CROP” by J. Eric Simpson, and “Cooking Sex” by Epicurean Endocrinology.
Epicurean Endocrinology (Liz Flyntz + Byron Rich), Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross, Mary Maggic (with genital collaborator Tamara Pertamina and technical collaborator Char Stiles), Jumana Manna, J. Eric Simpson and Caleb Lightfoot , and SPURSE
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