Program: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 -

Ergonomic Futures, performance by Tyler Coburn

Tuesday, October 18, 2016          e-flux, 311 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA

Ergonomic Futures, performance by Tyler Coburn

Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future. New York: Magnum, [1930] 1978.

Join us at e-flux on Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30pm for the performance Ergonomic Futures by Tyler Coburn.

Ergonomic Futures is a multi-part project that asks questions about contemporary “fitness” through the lens of speculative evolution. The work comes out of Tyler Coburn’s interviews with paleoanthropologists, ergonomists, evolutionary biologists, and genetic engineers. To each he has asked: What are future scenarios for imagining new types of human bodies, and how might this thought experiment reframe conversations about body normativity in the present day? 

Coburn has developed a performance about these topics, to be presented for the first time at e-flux. Over the course of forty minutes, he will discuss genetic engineering, the founder effect, postplanetary living, and other things that contribute to marked differences in how we biologically, philosophically, and legally define the “human.”

The Ergonomic Futures project takes two other practical forms in addition to the performance. First, Coburn and New York architects Bureau V have designed functional, ergonomic seats for different future bodies. The first iterations of these seats are currently on view in the 11th Gwangju Biennale, and in the exhibition Faisons de l’inconnu un allié (Joining Forces with the Unknown) organized by Fondation d’enterprise Galeries Lafayette—after which the seats will find long-term use in art and natural history museums in Seoul and Paris. As Ergonomic Futures is an open-ended project, other seats may appear in the future.

Second, Coburn has collaborated with designers Luke Gould and Afonso Martins on a website of short stories meant to evolve over the years. New stories may appear, and existing stories may be edited or deleted. A given story can have one or several versions that continue to change in quantity over time.

Tyler Coburn is an artist and writer based in New York.  Coburn received a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He also served as a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 2014-2015. His work has been presented at South London Gallery; Kunstverein Munich; Kunsthalle Wien; CCA Glasgow; Western Front, Vancouver; Grazer Kunstverein; UCCA, Beijing; and Sculpture Center, New York. Coburn participated in the 11th Gwangju Biennale and in the 10th Shanghai Biennale. His writing has appeared in e-flux journalFriezeDisMousse, and Rhizome.

We look forward to seeing you on East Broadway. For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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