Femke Herregraven and Marjolein Dijkman at CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art

8 May 2016 — 29 May 2016

From May 8 until May 29, Dutch artists Marjolein Dijkman and Femke Herregraven will feature the exhibition “Third Nature” at the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art in Annandale-On-Hudson, NY. It will be Dijkman’s first exhibition in the US, where she will present the video installation “In our Hands.” Herregraven will show a series of objects, called “Malleable Progress,” and a touchscreen installation: “Sprawling Swamps.” 

How is information carried along? Where does it begin and where does it end? Some like to imagine an infrastructure that calculates and passes numbers and vowels smoothly along, speaking for us, as for the messy, earthy order of things. Put negatively, some eschew thinking about how infrastructure accretes, energy flees, and speech interrupts.Third Nature upends familiar plot lines endemic to current obsessions with immaterial flows and speculative projections, instead privileging other logics and syntaxes to chronicle the constant morphing of matter and energy into structures of power. If the fictions surrounding global infrastructure tend to hover in liquid and gaseous language, how can we shift the plot back to the stuff that evolves, guides, and contains?

The exhibition’s title hinges on the phrase “third nature,” coined by the theorist McKenzie Wark in reference to the information and communication infrastructures that, overlaying and commanding the old manufacturing and distribution ones, newly organize life. Here is a system that unfolds notions of substance in a teleological endgame; a unidirectional denouement toward which dematerialization leads the action. Rather than represent what reads like a flowchart the artists in the exhibition, each question how human transactions and the “natural world” mutually inform and repel each other. In doing so, they craft a more complicated understanding of “third nature” as an entangled space where modern divides between the organic, the cultural, and the technical are obfuscated.

Straddling science-fiction and psychedelia, and employing humorous and poetic tropes, the works in this exhibition dwell on the chemistry of image production, the hallucinogens of finance, the volcanic ruptures that render volatile transactions inert, the technological upgrades on human interaction, and the electricity that carries our speech with the potential to cut out mid-sentence. Stepping into fictional landscapes via divination, imagination, or simulation, we might occasionally wonder: Does a word need to be spoken before realizing how our lives are already tethered to all types of conductive relations?

About Marjolein Dijkman 

Marjolijn Dijkman (1978) is based in Brussels and Saint Mihiel, and graduated from the free media department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2001. She was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, and is a tutor at the Fine Art Department of St. Joost in Breda. Dijkman’s practice consist of different approaches that are closely interconnected: ongoing projects that are carried out internationally, works developed within specific contexts, and initiatives like “Enough Room For Space.” She considers the foundations of how we perceive and experience our surroundings – the conventions which underlie the comprehension of the world around us.

About Femke Herregraven

Femke Herregraven is an artist whose research traverses global finance, information and geopolitics. In her work she investigates which new material base, geographies and value systems are carved out by contemporary financial technologies and infrastructures. Her work has been presented at the project, Serpentine Extinction Marathon and exhibited at T293, Naples, Bureau Europa, Maastricht, V&A, London, Witte de With, Rotterdam and Centre Pompidou, Paris. 

About CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) was founded in 1990 as an exhibition and research center for the study of late twentieth-century and contemporary art and culture and to explore experimental approaches to the presentation of these topics and their impact on our world. Since 1994, the Center for Curatorial Studies and its graduate program have provided one of the world’s most forward thinking teaching and learning environments for the research and practice of contemporary art and curatorship. Broadly interdisciplinary, CCS Bard encourages students, faculty and researchers to question the critical and political dimension of art, its mediation and its social significance.