For the exhibition A SCULPTURE MEANT TO BE LIVED ON, a commissioned computation of the helium remaining in the atmosphere from Robert Barry’s “Inert gas series: Helium. Sometime during the morning of March 5, 1969, 2 cubic feet of Helium will be released into the atmosphere” is juxtaposed with contemporary earth-scaled art concepts.
The piece is visually inspired by crystal structures used for climate engineering in the oceans and the stratosphere. Environmental and institutional questions also arise, as it traces power relations between white cubes and blue marbles.
Making a connection between outer space and the ocean floor—both of which possess vast mineral resources, including manganese nodules and metal-rich asteroids—A SCULPTURE MEANT TO BE LIVED ON poses political questions about the sharing of common goods found in globally-governed territories. Faced with an increasing shortage of resources, asteroid and deep sea mining are losing their status as a purely abstract model, and will very likely soon become the frontiers of the near future.
The white cube of Office Hours, located in a former warehouse building, asks geologically how art — which also has its origin in a kind of shaping—contributes to the supposed co-shaping process of the Anthropocene epoch, a period when it is claimed that humans have become a geological force. The exhibition’s axial experimental set-up establishes a system of coordinates to question processes of formation, both in an art context and on a global scale.