COSMOPOLIS #1.5: ENLARGED INTELLIGENCE
3 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
‘Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence’ presents artworks and programs by almost 60 artists and groups who explore ecology and technological transformations in order to envision how we today may draw on intelligent technologies, as well as on ecological intelligence, to advance social values —- rather than leaving capital to largely define the uses of these techniques and knowledge systems.
Over the past three decades, a renewed interest in theories of cosmopolitanism has emerged in the realms of art and the social sciences. Artistic practices rooted in research and in this cosmopolitan sensibility raise questions of cultural translation at the crossroads of circulations of people, ideas, and technology. Crystallizing new sensibilities and imaginaries, the spectrum of artistic proposals developed within the Cosmopolis platform engage in international conversations while focusing on forms of local or situated knowledge, anchored in particular contexts. The first two-year cycle, centered on collaboration and collective practice, culminated in the exhibition ‘Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence’ (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2017).
Cosmopolis was conceived by Kathryn Weir and launched by the Centre Pompidou in early 2016. It gathers artists, curators, theorists, activists, urban planners, architects and other cultural producers who choose to operate collaboratively. Through micro-residencies and exchanges combining art, ideas, and social questions, the contributors affirm the potential of creative practices to convey knowledge and create new understandings and ways of being in the world. ‘Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence’ is the second major exhibition associated with the platform. Stemming from the current cycle of research, the project engages with urban and rural space and the shifts in the dynamic between them due to the digital economy and other technological, ecological, and cultural shifts. The cosmotechnical theory of philosopher Yuk Hui, presenting ‘the unification of the cosmic and moral orders through technical activities’, has informed the project through its re-envisioning of technology within specific historical and cultural contexts. Fostering a speculative approach rooted in conceptual thinking and creative experimentation, the project includes artist residencies, concerts, talks and educational programs taking place across multiple venues in Chengdu and in nearby Jiajiang County.
The platform embodies the desire to construct bridges between new forms of artistic practice and intellectual approaches, between reconceived geographies and histories. It reflects today's speed and complexity of communications and movements of people and ideas. At the core of this is also a commitment to bringing together heterogeneous systems of thought and aesthetic histories. The aim to open to other understandings and ways of being, along with a kind of supple, multidisciplinary, openly curious attitude, provide for creative and powerful responses to our time — with its seismic shifts that remain as yet largely unmeasured.