Artists and writers portray the disorientation of a world facing climate change.This monumental volume, drawn from a 2020 exhibition at the ZKM Center for Art and Media, portrays the disorientation of life in a world facing climate change. It traces this disorientation to the disconnection between two different definitions of the land on which modern humans live: the sovereign nation from which they derive their rights, and another one, hidden, from which they gain their wealth - the land they live on, and the land they live from. Charting the land they will inhabit, they find not a globe, not the iconic «blue marble,» but a series of critical zones - patchy, heterogenous, discontinuous. With short texts, longer essays, and more than 500 illustrations, the contributors explore the new landscape on which it may be possible for humans to land what it means to be «on Earth,» whether the critical zone, the Gaia, or the terrestrial. They consider geopolitical conflicts and tools redesigned for the new «geopolitics of life forms.» The «thought exhibition» described in this book opens a fictional space to explore the new climate regime; the rest of the story is unknown.
Authors: Frédérique Ait-Touati, Alexandra Arènes, Steve Banwart, Sharon A. Billings, Robert Boschman, Susan L. Brantley, Verónica Calvo Valenzuela, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Pierre Charbonnier, Emanuele Coccia, Dorothea Condé, Pierre-Yves Condé, Dilip DaCunha, Gerhard de Vries, Vinciane Despret, William E. Dietrich, Matthieu Duperrex, Sebastien Dutreuil, Jeanne Etelain, Michael Flower, Jennifer Gabrys, Jerôme Gaillardet, Ali Gharib, Pauline Goul, Jonathan Gray, Martin Guinard, Emilie Hache, Clémence Hallé, Donna Haraway, Mira Hirtz, Karen Holmberg, Daniel Irrgang, Paul Jobin, Hanna Jurisch, Joseph Leo Koerner, Bettina Korintenberg, Anna Krzywoszynska, Bruno Latour, Timothy M. Lenton, Sonia Levy, Rachel Libeskind, Olga Lukyanova, Anuradha Mathur, Daria Mille, Ane-Sophie Milon, Timothy Mitchell, Marie-Claire Pierret, Richard Powers, Robert Preusse, Aleksandar Rankovic, Stefanie Rau, Lena Reitschuster, Daniel D. Richter, Simon Schaffer, Alexander W. Schindler, Anne Schreiber, Nikolaj Schultz, Isabelle Stengers, Yohji Suzuki, Bronislaw Szerszynski, John Tresch, Sarah Vanuxem, Laura Dassow Walls, Pierre Wat, Peter Weibel, Jan Zalasiewicz, Estelle Zhong Mengual, Johanna Ziebritzki, Siegfried Zielinski, Benedikte Zitouni
Before 1900, sculpture was based on the mimetic embodiment of humans, animals, and objects. Space itself was not its concern. But with the new experiences of space and time brought about by the Industrial Revolution and its technology — moving machines, such as trains and cars, and the emerging telecommunications media — the historical categories of plastic arts such as mass, volume, and gravity, derived from the body, until then the only medium of spatial and temporal experience, were rigorously denied.
This radical rupture from body-bound and object-oriented figurative sculpture and the transition to abstract vectors of space disclose a paradox: when sculpture after 1900 conceived the shaping of space as its only domain, these spatial sculptures were defined through negations of hitherto dominant sculptural characteristics:
void instead of volume
vacuum instead of mass
airy instead of solid
weightless instead of heavy
virtual instead of real
shadow instead of light
abstract instead of figurative
Artists focused on the new shapes of these empty, interstitial, and negative spaces.
Using rediscovered documents from art history and cross-bridging the artistic with mathematical models, this monumental and richly illustrated book from ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe demonstrates a new theory about modern sculpture’s fundamental differences from works of the past. Negative Space unfolds the revolutionary trajectories of abstract sculpture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: from linear and planar, suspended and pneumatic sculptures to virtual volumes and immersive environments.