DRIFT, DRIFTER at CODED NATURE, Stedelijk Museum, 2018. Photo Credit: Ronald Smits. Courtesy of DRIFT.
Fragile Future Imagines a World Where Technology Enhances Nature, Presenting Never-Before-Seen Works and Special Performances with a Soundtrack Created by ANOHNI
Using sound, movement, and film by the multidisciplinary Amsterdam based artists DRIFT, Fragile Future transforms The Shed’s galleries with experiential multi-sensory installations that suggest alternative solutions for a positive future. Marking DRIFT’s first New York solo presentation and featuring a soundtrack created by ANOHNI, the monumental exhibition and series of special performances builds on DRIFT’s practice of creating experiences that inspire a reconnection to our planet and its natural processes, as well as empathy towards anthropomorphic non living objects. On view September 29 through December 19, 2021, Fragile Future is presented by Superblue, the ground-breaking new venture dedicated to producing, presenting, and engaging audiences with experiential art, and The Shed, the innovative new arts center on Manhattan’s west side.
Fragile Future takes audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations – exploring the universal search for origin, destination, and connection, as well as the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change. The experience opens with a luminous installation, Coded Coincidence, in which audiences are mesmerized by multitudes of shimmering lights, whose movements mirror the flight pattern of elm seeds as they are directed by the forces of the wind each spring. By highlighting the coincidental, unexpected paths of these “dancing seeds,” the installation explores the necessity and beauty of coincidence and its essential role in our natural processes and evolution. Fading and falling to the ground, the seeds of light give way to Ego, in which a large block made of hair-thin illuminated threads is suspended in mid-air. The block moves and morphs over time, shifting from a rigid rectangle to a distorted plane, imbuing an object typically thought of as inanimate with human emotions and qualities. The experience also includes the multidisciplinary light sculpture Fragile Future, which fuses nature and technology to create a critical yet utopian vision of the future of our planet, wherein two seemingly opposite evolutions have made a pact to survive.
Audiences are transported into the final act of the installation series, Drifters, by way of a series of multichannel projected films. Representing a portal to another world, the films portray a group of concrete blocks that float through both familiar and imagined environments in New York City and elsewhere, passing through lush nature and dystopian urban settings in search for their origin and destination. The experience culminates in the transition from the film into the physical realm, as a monumental concrete monolith appears, in an atmosphere of hopeful levitation.
On select dates throughout the run, Drifters transforms into a surreal immersive performance that spans The Shed’s four-story-high, 17,000-square-foot McCourt space. The work contemplates the way our world is built and offers an alternative perspective to our understanding of its makeup. In this unique performance activation, the monolith is joined by additional blocks that float and dance in an ethereal atmosphere, in counterpoint with a soundtrack by ANOHNI.
Superblue Cofounder and CEO Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst said, “DRIFT’s practice illuminates both the tensions and interplay between our man-made, natural, and emotional processes in ways that encourage us to more deeply consider our relationship to the world around us. We are thrilled to partner with The Shed to bring the work of the Superblue network of artists and the entrancing experiences they create to New York audiences this September.”
The Shed’s Artistic Director and CEO Alex Poots said, “The Shed is committed to working with inventive artists who address significant issues of our time. This fall, with DRIFT’s Fragile Future on view alongside Ian Cheng’s Life After BOB, we welcome audiences to experience these one of-a-kind exhibitions that explore possible futures.”
Organized by Kathleen Forde, Senior Curator, Superblue, the premiere of Fragile Future marks Superblue’s debut presentation in New York, following the launch of its experiential art center in Miami this May, and coincides with several major projects by DRIFT this fall. A new multi sensory experience, Shylight (working title), debuts this September at Design Miami / Basel, presented by Superblue; and on view in Miami through 2022, DRIFT’s kinetic installation Meadow inaugurates the new experiential art center, Superblue Miami, and marks the launch of Superblue’s Suspension program. This November, a solo exhibition of DRIFT’s “Materialism” series will also be presented by Pace Gallery in New York, exploring the raw materials that make up everyday objects.
EXHIBITION DATES AND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
DRIFT: Fragile Future
A new commission by DRIFT, presented by Superblue and The Shed
Featuring a soundtrack by ANOHNI
September 29 – December 19, 2021
Exhibition Schedule and Tickets:
Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm; Fri and Sat: 11 am – 8 pm
Tickets: Adults $25; Seniors/Students $18; Shed members and visitors 18 and under are admitted free
Exhibition + Drifters Performance Schedule and Tickets:
October 23 and 24; November 12 – 14, 19 – 21, 26 – 28; and December 3 – 5, 17 – 19 (additional dates to be announced)
11 am – 10 pm
Tickets: Adults $35; Seniors/Students $28; Shed members and visitors 18 and under $10
All visitors are required to wear a face covering for the duration of their visit. Additional safety details and any updates due to new governmental guidelines are available at theshed.org/visit.
Tickets are available beginning September 1 at theshed.org.
The Shed, Level 2 Gallery and The McCourt
545 West 30th Street, New York NY
Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta have been collaborating as the collective DRIFT since 2007, working with a multidisciplinary team of 64, to create sculptures, installations, and performances that raise fundamental questions about the origins, processes, and meaning of life, and explore positive scenarios for the future. DRIFT manifests the phenomena and hidden properties of nature with the use of technology in order to learn from the earth’s underlying mechanisms and to re-establish our connection to it. With both depth and simplicity, DRIFT’s works of art illuminate parallels between man-made and natural structures through deconstructive, interactive, and innovative processes.
DRIFT’s work is not bound to the parameters of an indoor gallery space. Their award-winning aerial drone ballet Franchise Freedom was shown at Art Basel Miami 2017, Burning Man 2018 and for NASA (2019). DRIFT has realized numerous exhibitions and projects around the world. Their work has been exhibited at Stedelijk Museum (2018); Amos Rex Helsinki (2019) Mint Museum (2019); Victoria and Albert Museum (2009, 2015); Met Museum (2010); UTA Artist Space (2019); Garage Museum (2019); Biennale di Venezia (2015); Pace Gallery (2017), amongst others. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the LACMA (USA), Atlanta High Museum of Art (USA), Victoria and Albert Museum London (UK), Rockefeller Center (USA), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (NL), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL), San Francisco MOMA (USA), Carnegie Museum Pittsburg (USA), The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (USA) Museum Voorlinden (NL).
Further information: studiodrift.com.
ANOHNI is an artist, director, and musician. Across mediums, she has asked “What Is Really Happening?” In 2019 she staged She Who Saw Beautiful Things, an exhibition and theater work in honor of her collaborator Dr. Julia Yasuda, at The Kitchen in New York City. ANOHNI has performed with symphonies and in opera houses around the world; she was nominated for an Oscar in 2016 for “Manta Ray”. MoMA presented Swanlights at Radio City Music Hall in 2012; in 2016 ANOHNI staged HOPELESSNESS at the Park Avenue Armory in collaboration with Hudson Mohawk and Daniel Lopatin. She first performed at the Pyramid Club in New York City as a young person, and 13 years later was awarded the UK’s Mercury Prize for her album “I am a Bird Now” in 2005. In response to that moment of broader visibility, in 2006 ANOHNI mounted a tour of Europe in collaboration with Charles Atlas and 13 subcultural and/or trans and queer women from New York City, entitled TURNING. She first founded her performance group The Johnsons in 1995, in honor of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionary Marsha P. Johnson.
Superblue is a ground-breaking new enterprise dedicated to supporting artists in realizing their most ambitious visions and engaging audiences with experiential art. Its network of artists encompasses the leading practitioners of experiential art, whose practices catalyze engagement with the most pressing issues of our time and generate new perspectives on our world.
Through its experiential art centers, which are specifically designed for presenting large-scale, immersive art installations, Superblue provides artists with expanded opportunities to transport audiences to the new worlds they create. Superblue additionally acts as an advocate and agent for experiential artists by fostering opportunities for them to expand the reach of their work through collaborations with museums, collectors, visual and performing arts festivals, architects, municipalities, and place-makers. Superblue provides these partners with unparalleled expertise and support for the production, installation, and presentation of large-scale experiential works, through collaborative presentations, public and private commissions, and acquisitions.
In the coming years, Superblue will open new experiential centers across the U.S. and internationally and is developing augmented and virtual reality platforms for artists who are exploring our rapidly evolving relationship with the digital realm.
About The Shed
The Shed is a new cultural institution of and for the 21st century. It produces and welcomes innovative art and ideas, across all forms of creativity, to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society. In its highly adaptable building on Manhattan’s west side, The Shed brings together established and emerging artists to create new work in fields ranging from pop to classical music, painting to digital media, theater to literature, and sculpture to dance. The Shed seeks opportunities to collaborate with cultural peers and community organizations, work with likeminded partners, and provide unique spaces for private events. As an independent non-profit that values invention, equity, and generosity, The Shed is committed to advancing art forms, addressing the urgent issues of our time, and making its work impactful, sustainable, and relevant to the local community, the cultural sector, New York City, and beyond.
Further information: theshed.org.