Logics of Sense 1: Investigations September 4-October 19, 2019

Featuring project descriptions, an introduction and exhibition text by Christine Shaw, artist biographies, and full colour illustrations throughout.

This micropublication was produced on the occasion of Logics of Sense 1: Investigations, September 4-October 19, 2019.

Logics of Sense 1: Investigations

Ursula Biemann
Mikhail Karikis
Susan Schuppli
Jol Thomson

Curated by Christine Shaw

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Exhibition Statement

Logics of Sense

Although the worlds we inhabit are invariably composed of sensations and sense-makings, it is a peculiar challenge to perceive ourselves sensing. Because our human-centred sensory habits are so difficult to discern, we can often mistake them for natural tendencies. As an attunement to the aesthetics of sensation, the exhibition Logics of Sense—presented in two parts at the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga—examines sense-in-the-making, from the surface of incorporeal events to a multiplicity of decentralized perceptions, and from itinerant geo-methodologies to the various disciplinary frames and frameworks that artistic intelligence retrofits for emergent social and political realities.

Logics of Sense 1: Investigations (September 4-October 19, 2019) includes works from Ursula Biemann, Mikhail Karikis, Susan Schuppli, and Jol Thomson; their respective videos and video essays address the interactions between land and the atmosphere, changing planetary dynamics, terrestrial micro-events, and the inheritance of knowledge. Moving through modes of prediction, observation, expression, perception, and re-configuration, visitors are invited to explore the becoming-sensuous of technoscience in formation.

Logics of Sense 2: Implications(October 28–December 7, 2019) includes works by Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Barbara Marcel, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Miles Rufelds, and YangMing. Among their videos, sculptures, and screenings, visitors are implicated in both seeing like a state and sharing in ecological complicity through colonial pasts and capitalist futures. As geopolitical backstories unfold to reveal an entropic obsolescence of objects, a storm builds toward the moment of its explosive release.


Ursula Biemann is an artist, author, and video essayist based in Zurich, Switzerland. Her artistic practice is strongly research-oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil and water, as in the recent projects Acoustic Ocean (2018), Forest Law (2014), Deep Weather (2013), and Egyptian Chemistry (2012). In her earlier art and curatorial work she made space and mobility her prime category of analysis, for example in the widely exhibited art and research project Sahara Chronicle (2006-2009) on clandestine migration networks. Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and the International Art Biennials of Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, São Paulo, Sevilla, Istanbul, and Venice. Biemann has published several books and is founding member of the collabora- tive art and media project World of Matter. Biemann has a BFA from the School of Visu- al Arts and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (1988). She received a doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umea and the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Swiss Grand Award for Art, and the Prix Thun for Art and Ethics.

Mikhail Karikis is a Greek-British artist living in London. His work embraces film, sound, performance, and photography. He employs listening as a form of activism and develops projects with communities locat- ed outside the context of contemporary art who may be pushed into economic and socio-geographic fringes. In recent years, Karikis has been collaborating with teenagers and children to explore legacies they inherit from older generations, including narratives of techno-dystopias, and ecological and economic injustice. While prompting participatory and activist imaginaries, Karikis’s projects rouse the potential for people to imagine alternative futures of self-determination and potency. Karikis has
exhibited at 54th Venice Biennale, 2011; Manifesta 9, 2012; 2nd Aichi Triennale, 2013; 19th Biennale of Sydney, 2014; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2016; Yebisu International Festival, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, 2019. He has recently had solo exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery, London, (2018-2019); MORI Art Museum, Tokyo, (2019); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, (2019); Turku Art Museum, (2018); Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture, (2017) and Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art contemporain, (2017). Forthcoming solo exhibitions include his survey exhibition at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA); I Hear You, De la Warr Pavilion; and an In Focus exhibition at TATE, St Ives.

Susan Schuppli is an artist and researcher whose work examines material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters. Creative projects have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the US. Recent commissioned works include Learning from Ice, Toronto Biennial; Nature Represents Itself, SculptureCenter; Delay Decay, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Trace Evidence, Extra City, Antwerp & Bildmuseet, Umea; and Atmospheric Feedback Loops, a Vertical Cinema project for Sonic Acts, Amsterdam. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and received the ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research in 2016. Her book, MATERIAL WITNESS: Media • Forensics • Evidence, published by MIT Press will be released in 2020. Schuppli is Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London and is an affiliated artist-researcher as well as board chair of Forensic Architecture.

Jol Thomson is an artist, sound designer, and researcher interested in the potential to bypass dominant Western rationality through critical engagements with the matter(s) and meanings of contemporary (particle) physics. Thomson completed his HBA at the University of Toronto in 2009 and received his meisterschüler in Fine Art from Professor Simon Starling at the Städelschule, Frankfurt aM in 2013. He was recently awarded an international studentship to pursue a practice-based PhD at the University of Westminster in London, where he is currently based. Between 2014– 2016 he developed and taught an experimental interdisciplinary arts pedagogy for architects with artist Tomás Saraceno at the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany. In 2016 he won the MERU Art*Science Award for his audio-visual composition G24|0vßß. That year he was a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude and in 2017 he was a resident of the Bosch GmbH’s Centre for Research and Advanced Engineering, Stuttgart. Recent screenings and selected exhibitions include Recontres Internationales: Contemporary Moving Image, Pompidou, Paris and HKW, Berlin (2019); at Quantum Real: Spectral Exchange, Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool (2019); Galleria d’Arte Moderne e Contemporanea, Bergamo (2019); Blind Faith: Between the Cognitive and the Visceral in Contemporary Art at the Haus Der Kunst, Munich (2018); Open Codes: Living in Digital Worlds, ZKM (Center for Art and Technol- ogy), Karlsruhe (2017-2018). In 2017 he published Intra-acting With the IceCube Neutrino Observatory; or, how the technosphere may come to matter, with Dr. Sasha Engelmann in a special issue of the Anthropocene Review.


Cover image credit: Jol Thomson, G24|0vßß (video still), 2016. Courtesy the artist.

Design: Matthew Hoffman

Printing: Thistle Printing

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The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.


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Logics of Sense 1: Investigations
September 4-December 19, 2019