DRIFT: About Nature, Technology and Humankind, is a multimedia exhibition exploring the intersection of nature and technology and its cross-disciplinary impact on modern life. It is currently showing at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in San Francisco from 17 January to 30 April 2020.
Presented at a former Catholic church, which is now home to Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Saint Joseph’s Arts Society, the group exhibition features the first significant presentation of Dutch artistic collective Studio DRIFT in San Francisco.
DRIFT: About Nature, Technology and Humankind seeks to identify and learn from the underlying mechanisms of the natural world in an effort to reconnect humanity to the environment it inhabits.
In an era when environmental concerns are top of mind, this exhibition brings together artists who, in the words of historian William Meyers, “make an effort to understand and materialize the nature of nature” as its first show of 2020.
Anchored by seminal works by Studio DRIFT, About Nature, Technology and Humankind will showcase how cutting-edge technology is utilised by artists to mimic existing natural phenomena.
One example of this is Studio DRIFT’s site-specific installation, Flylight (2009), which simulates the behavior of a flock of starlings – soaring through the air as a self-organized unit– through software responsive to external stimuli.
A second installation, Fragile Future III(2007) depicts a floating field of light-emitting dandelion sculptures, with real dandelion seeds attached one by one to LED lights held together by a delicate copper structure, as a meditation on the rapid evolution of technology and on the possibilities to combine natural and technological elements.
Both installations encourage reflection on societal structure and the sustainability of human progress. A third work by Studio DRIFT, a video installation of their immersive aerial artwork Franchise Freedom, which premiered at Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2017, will also be on view.
This performative sculpture translates the majestic flight patterns of birds, both as singular animals and as a flock, into sweeping movements of a fleet of autonomous drones, inviting viewers to experience the natural phenomena of birds in motion through a 21st-century lens.
Images courtesy of The Carpenters Workshop Gallery, San Francisco