Beatriz da Costa
Opening Reception: Fri, February 27th, 5-7pm
Exhibit Dates: February 27 - March 20
CN(S)I Art|Sci Lab, Suite 5419, Parking Lot 9
Invisible Earthlings is an investigation into the possibilities of relating between humans and members of the lived non-human worlds that we are least likely to recognize as social actors within urban environments: microbes. Microbes, partially defined by their small size and the fact that they are commonly not visible to the human eye, quite literally escape our view and thereby our awareness of their existence. Although most people have some vague notion about the importance of microbes in our ecosystems, microbes commonly only receive our attention when they are perceived to cause problems-"problems" in this case defined as either harmful to human, plant, and animal health, or our material goods. But what type of activities are the numerous relatives of these so-called "harmful microbes" performing while we are walking by, stepping right on top of them, or busily shopping for "mold resistant" building materials? What types of organisms are present, what types were present once but are no longer, and why? Where did they come from, what do we know about them, what type of roles have and are they performing in different historical and geographical settings?
Beatriz da Costa is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher who works at the intersection of contemporary art, science, engineering and politics. Her work takes the form of public participatory interventions, locative media, conceptual tool building and critical writing. da Costa has also made frequent use of wetware in her projects and has recently become interested in the potential of interspecies co-production in the pursuit of resistant practices. da Costa is a former collaborator of Critical Art Ensemble and co-founder of Preemptive Media, an art, activism and technology group. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Andy Warhol Museum, the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien in Germany, and the Natural History Museum in London. Recent media coverage includes the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters and the New Scientist. da Costa is Associate Professor in the Arts, Computation, Engineering graduate program at the University of California, Irvine.