2016 CCA Biennial: Abject/Object Empathies

Caroline O'Donnell's Urchin on the Arts Quad.
Urchin, by architecture's Caroline O'Donnell, is one of the biennial exhibitions. photo / John Lai
Caroline Woolard installation
Capitoline Wolves, by Caroline Woolard, is on display in Frances Shloss Studios for the duration of the biennial. William Staffeld / AAP
Aleksandr Mergold's American Spolia: Crossing the Line, will be on display on Libe Slope until December. rendering / provided
Urchin, by architecture's Caroline O'Donnell, is one of the biennial exhibitions. photo / John Lai Capitoline Wolves, by Caroline Woolard, is on display in Frances Shloss Studios for the duration of the biennial. William Staffeld / AAP Aleksandr Mergold's American Spolia: Crossing the Line, will be on display on Libe Slope until December. rendering / provided

Overview

With a focus on the cultural production of empathy, the Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) opens its second campus-wide art exhibition by addressing the ways in which feeling is form.

The 2016 biennial, titled Abject/Object Empathies, includes 12 new projects, developed over 12 months by artists working in a variety of ways that suggest how the objects, buildings, interfaces, and images we construct are shaped by the intentional or implicit emotional, interdependent relationship to others. Whether by framing a connection that already exists or by providing the condition for new human connection, all projects consciously bridge the distance between self, object, and other — insisting, through the work's form, that aesthetic experiences are fundamentally interdependent, collaboratively generated, or inherently reciprocal.

Ideas of interdependent form in art have been addressed recently in theories of relational and participatory practices, but theories of art's intentional acknowledgement of the other — whether viewer, audience, citizenry, crowd, or globe — is often understood as rhetorical anticipation rather than actual coauthorship. Yet there are historical roots of aesthetic experience in social experience, providing an opportunity to return to this earlier understanding of form to resolve a contemporary tension between social practice and the making of objects. It is the structure of inter-subjective experience, which now includes participatory networks and collective platforms of exchange, which has given rise to art practices that do not necessarily reject form, as much as they seek ways to define the political, cultural, and societal distinctions between "me" and "we" in material ways.

Between September 15 and December 22, CCA biennial projects will be open across campus in public spaces and departmental galleries, including installations on the Arts Quad, Willard Straight Hall, Mann Library, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Sibley Hall Dome, and Klarman Hall Atrium.

The biennial will open on September 15 with a talk by biennial artist in residence Pepón Osorio and a three-day presentation of talks, workshops, and events by artists, scholars, and students who have work in the exhibition.

Please see the CCA biennial website for specific event dates, project locations, and a list of scheduled speakers.

Schedule

Public Exhibitions: Open through December 22

Thursday, September 15

5:15 p.m.
2016 Artist-in-Residence talk
Pepón Osorio
Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium, Milstein Hall

Friday, September 16

WORKSHOPS
10 a.m.

Supply Chain Art, Public Workshop
Caroline Woolard, Susan Jahoda, and Emilio Martinez Poppe
Sibley Dome, Sibley Hall

POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
American Spolia: Crossing the Line
Performance by architecture students. Directed by Aleksandr Mergold, assistant professor, architecture
Libe Slope

BIENNIAL CONVERSATIONS
Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium, Milstein Hall

2:30 p.m.
Opening Remarks
Stephanie Owens, director, Cornell Council for the Arts

2:40 p.m.
Keynote
Susan Lanzoni, scholar, Harvard Graduate School

3 p.m.
Artist talk
Caroline Woolard

3:30 p.m.
Empathy, Affordance, and Architecture
Panel discussion with Aleksandr Mergold (American Spolia) and Caroline O'Donnell (Urchin). Moderated by James Cutting, professor, psychology

4:30 p.m.
Music and Reciprocity
Panel discussion with Ariana Kim (The Stories of Life on Wood), Min Keun Park (Hear Me) and Barry Sharp. Moderated by Chris Younghoon Kim, associate professor, music

PUBLIC EVENTS
6:30 p.m.

Conversation with artist Teresa Diehl with Sara Garzón
Willard Straight Hall Art Gallery

7 p.m.
Fugitive Spaces
Arts Quad (near Urchin)
Performance by dance students in performing and media arts. Directed by Jumay Chu, senior lecturer

7:30 p.m.
Reception
Hirsch Wing, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

Saturday, September 17

11 a.m.
Race & Empathy Project: Listening Booth
Corinna Loeckenhoff, Anthony Burrow, and Francois Guimbretiere
Mann Library

1 p.m.
Metes and Bounds
Sculpture Terrace, Herbert F. Johnson Museum
A discussion with Thomas J. Campanella (city and regional planning), Maria Goula (landscape architecture), Mark Morris (architecture), and John Wertis (New York State historian). Moderated by Aleksandr Mergold