e-flux presents Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory
David Kelley and Patty Chang, Spiritual Myopia | Part One – Extraction: Environments and Communities
Friday, August 14—Thursday, August 27, 2020
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David Kelley and Patty Chang, Spiritual Myopia (still), 2018.

Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of David Kelley and Patty Chang's Spiritual Myopia (2018), on view from Friday, August 14 through Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Spiritual Myopia is a sculptural video work dealing with the invisible labor and desire of residents of the oil-industry boom towns of Fort McMurray in the Canadian Tar Sands, and Port Arthur, Texas. The two towns are terminal nodes of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline which would span the United States. Fort McMurray has the third largest oil deposit in the world. Its rapid pace of growth has meant a dearth of housing for its migrant workers. Port Arthur boasts the world’s largest concentration of oil refineries and its town center has nearly disintegrated from economic decline. These twin cities are related spatially as nodes in the same energy infrastructure, and temporally in their different stages of a boom or bust economy. Borrowing its title from Alfred Stieglitz’s photo Spiritual America, Spiritual Myopia speaks to the nearsightedness innate to hypercapitalism.

Spiritual Myopia is presented here as one of three films in Part One | Extraction: Environments and Communities​, the first of six programs in the online film and discussion series Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memoryprogrammed by Lukas Brasiskis for e-flux Video & Film.

Ecology After Nature runs from August 14 through November 8, 2020. The films in Part Two will screen for two weeks, and subsequent parts will follow bi-weekly, with new films screened every other Sunday.

David Kelley is an artist working with photography, video, and installation. His recent projects draw attention to the effects of global capitalism, resource extraction, and shifting physical and political landscapes. Influenced by a range of visual traditions, Kelley draws upon elements of experimental documentary, ethnography, performance, and avant-garde cinema. By working at the intersection of these strategies, he encourages an understanding of his subjects that is simultaneously direct and speculative. His work has been shown in galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include the Louvre in Paris, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Other exhibitions include Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, The Bank in Shanghai, the de Cordova Biennial in Boston, BAK in Utrecht, MAAP space in Australia, and the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok. Kelley received a Master of Fine Art from the University of California, Irvine, and was a 2010 -11 resident at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California, and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at University of Southern California.

Patty Chang is an artist working in performance, video, writing, and installation. Her work has a capacity to explore complex subjects nearly simultaneously, as does life. Born in 1972 in San Leandro, California, Chang received her BA from the University of California, San Diego, in 1994. Her work has been exhibited nationwide and internationally at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; New Museum, New York; BAK, Basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Fri Art Centre d’Art de Freibourg, Fribourg, Switzerland; Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, England; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the M+ Museum, Hong Kong; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Her work received a 2003 award from the Rockefeller Foundation and a 2012 Creative Capital award. In 2008, she was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize and a Guna S. Mundheim Fellow in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2014, Chang was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. Her acclaimed exhibition Patty Chang: The Wandering Lake 2009-2017 was shown at the Queens Museum, New York in 2017 and at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2019.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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