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Recent Listings

17. Feb. 2018
Cuchifritos /
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space

Jakob Kudsk Steensen

Closed Circuit Habitat

Opening Reception: Friday, February 23 from 6-8p
Exhibition Dates: February 23 – March 11, 2018
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: 120 Essex Street NY, NY 10002 (inside Essex Street Market)

The Pando, a clonal colony of aspen trees estimated to be 80,000 years of age, has resiliently surpassed the age of agriculture and the irreversible transformations of land masses by human interactions. The Pando has 40,000 trunks, weighs 6 million tons and spreads across 106 acres. Every tree is identical in DNA and connected to a single root system. As an organism, the Pando is a slowly moving creature capable of expanding our concepts of the natural, from vast open landscapes to the covert enormity of this individual living entity that is partly obscured underground. What we, as humans, perceive as being a forest, is in fact, a single organism.

Tasked with replicating a Midwest American forest for an artist collective, Jakob Kudst Steensen developed the virtual PANDO ENDO after rambling extensively through the forest. In the humid air, the artist came across a wet strong aspen tree, stretching from beneath the wooden floor towards the skies, looking like an alien creature from another planet with its wet bark and stark moss-covered colors. Steensen explored the clonal colony, which stretched across the entire mountain area. During its lifetime, the Pando has spans the entirety of human history. To substantiate an organism so enduringly resilient to the modern history of our own species, the Pando Endo’s intersection with the mountain-based artist collective seemed to be a mere blink of the eye. Could future human or ecological infrastructures evolve like the connected organization of the aspen trees and exist outside of current centralized systems?

To conclude his residency with Artists Alliance Inc, Steensen will exhibit at Cuchifritos Gallery his virtual organism, the Pando Endo, a real-time computer simulation. "Pando" (Latin for “I spread”), borrowed from the name of the clonal colony, and "endo" referring to infrastructure, Pando Endo was developed from phone photographs of aspen tree bark, moss, and roots. These photographs were converted into digital textures and programmed to morph together with a procedural system that functions as a root system. 

Four drones, fitted with spotlights, circulate the virtually simulated organism, examining it, zooming in on its movements. The organism has been tasked with breaching virtual glass cabinets and taught to gauge and mobilize towards light sources. Textures crawl across its surface area and liquids trickle along its tentacles like clustered organic entities. Based on this programming, the root system has found its own navigation. It resists stationery exhibition to spread and traverse the vast emptiness in the empty warehouse and exhibition space. 

Jakob Kudsk Steensen is a Danish artist and art director based in New York, specialized in VR and real-time virtual simulations of ecosystems. Through his practice, Steensen is concerned with how imagination, technology and ecology intertwine by developing futuristic virtual simulations of existing real-world landscapes. His work is at the forefront of real-time rendered virtual environments, and he develops projects through collaborations with technology and natural science institutions. 

Jakob Kudsk has recently exhibited at Time Square for the Midnight Moment, at Carnegie Museum of Art, The Moving Image Fair, NYC, MAXXI, Museum of Modern Art, WIRED annual conference, FRIEZE in London, Podium in Oslo, Ok Corral in Copenhagen, 86 Project Space, Brooklyn, Sleep Center, China Town and at London Science Museum. As an art director on the VR project TREE VR, made with The Rainforest Alliance and NEW REALITY CO, Steensen’s has shown at Sundance and TriBeCa film festival. His work has been featured in MOUSSE Magazine, on Artnet, The Art Newspaper, Hyperallergic, Spike Art Quaterly, ARTREPORT, Politiken, Information, Worm, NEO2, VICE, NY Times, WIRED and TSOEG. He has received awards from the Danish Arts Foundation, The Augustinus Foundation, and Lumen Arts Price. He has been artist in residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, AADK, Centra Negra, MASS MoCA, BRIC and Mana Contemporary.

Part one of the 4-part Workspace ’18 exhibition series, featuring new work by residents of AAI’s LES Studio Program

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Artists Alliance Inc. is 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos Gallery and the LES Studio Program are supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Cuchifritos Gallery programming is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.

01. Feb. 2018
Cuchifritos /
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space

“When you go to an artist’s studio I think is best to keep your mouth shut,” said art dealer Richard Bellamy. First as a director of Hansa Gallery (an art cooperative on East 10th Street), and later as the owner of the Green Gallery (1960 – 1965), Bellamy was influential in the careers of many contemporary downtown artists. Frequently meeting with the likes of Walter de Maria, Robert Morris, Richard Nonas, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Richard Serra, and Mark di Suvero (to name just a few), for studio visits at their “ratty lofts” or to hang out in Chinatown. “He was the best person to look at something, and his silences was so pregnant, so full of ideas, so rich”, recalled Alfred Leslie.

For the last few years, I have been collecting other people’s handwriting, laughter or voice in order to examine how my body and mind can become a biography of someone else – embodying different aspects of other people’s (mostly artists) lives in myself and my work. What fascinates me the most about Richard Bellamy is the silence that surrounded him; a radiating silence that served as his contemplative way of looking at art; the silence that enhanced his presence, as if a gesture. Silence as a peculiarity emanating from the aura of his persona, particularly during his visits to artists’ studios, which is something quite the opposite of what I have been experiencing throughout my journey with art, where everyone expects the artist to speak.

The idea of silence appears today especially significant when it is almost impossible to make others pay attention without raising an outcry. Therefore, I have dedicated “Conversation Piece (for Richard Bellamy)” to learning the attitude of Dick –silence—and to seeing what impact “Bellamy’s behavior” could have on the contemporary art world. What could we gain from silence? Can it influence the way we see artworks? How could this experience benefit other artists and me? Can I learn to be silent like someone else? How can this evoke personality? To do so, I conducted studio visits with contemporary artists in the downtown area of Manhattan, trying to follow Bellamy’s approach, and see whether silence can be an artwork…

— Weronika Trojańska

Part one of the 4-part Workspace ’18 exhibition series, featuring new work by residents of AAI’s LES Studio Program

* * *

For the last few years, I have been collecting other people’s handwriting, moving or speaking in order to examine how my body and mind can become a biography of someone else – by embodying different aspects of other artists’ life in myself and my work. When the “I” can be a “storage” for elements of other people lives, my Self becomes a Polyphonic Autobiography. It requires constant changes and implies time, involvement and obsession. It’s a method that positions myself within the other person’s biography, trying to catch the essence of someone else’s feature and inhabit it by transcribing the gesture (reproducing, adapting and learning) by which means it becomes a part of me. It might be seen as a way of borrowing and going further – appropriation. Could this be a way to avoid destruction and oblivion (thinking about art works that are kept forgotten in a museum storage or the biography as a way of preservation)? If the Self could be perceived as a collection – is the body a museum? Is it possible to make a retrospective exhibition then?

cristinaclelia /
Genova Italy

I'm glad to offer my time for who would like to write something perfectly correct in Italian.
Technical, philosophical, artistic and graphical written texts are more welcome for complete translations, any text for corrections.