press release

iCI announces the tour of Experimental Geography, an exhibition that explores the distinctions between geographical study and artistic experience of the earth, as well as the juncture where the two realms collide and possibly make a new field altogether. The exhibition presents a panoptic view of this new practice through a wide range of mediums including interactive computer units, sound and video installations, photography, sculpture, and experimental cartography created by 18 artists or artist teams from six countries.

Experimental Geography, curated by Nato Thompson and organized and circulated by iCI, will premiere at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, on September 19 where it will be on view through December 12, 2008. The exhibition will travel through August 2010 with presentations at the Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minnesota, February 7 - April 18, 2009; The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 28 - September 20, 2009; and the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine, February 21 - May 30, 2010. Additional venues will be announced.

Geography can involve the study of specific histories, sites, and memories. Every estuary, landfill, and cul-de-sac has a story to tell. The task of the geographer is to alert us to what is directly in front of us, while the task of the experimental geographer—an amalgam of scientist, artist, and explorer—is to do so in a manner that deploys aesthetics, ambiguity, poetry, and a dash of empiricism.

The manifestations of "experimental geography" (a term coined by geographer Trevor Paglen in 2002) run the gamut of contemporary art practice: sewn cloth cities that spill out of suitcases, bus tours through water treatment centers, performers climbing up the sides of buildings, and sound art of the breaths exhaled in running the evacuation route of Boston. In the hands of contemporary artists, the study of humanity's engagement with the earth's topography becomes a riddle best solved in experimental fashion.

The approaches used by the artists featured in Experimental Geography range from a poetic conflation of humanity and the earth to more empirical studies of our planet. Ilana Halperin melds immediate physical and personal actions with geologic contexts; she offers poetic conflations of differing fields of interest. Creating projects that are more empirically minded, the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a research organization, explores the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth's surface, embracing a multidisciplinary approach to fulfilling its mission. Using skill sets culled from the toolbox of geography, the work re-familiarizes the viewer with the overlooked American landscape including man-made islands, submerged cities, traffic in Los Angeles, and the broadcast antennas in the San Gabriel Mountains, and other details drawn from everyday experience.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated 168-page catalogue co-published by iCI and Melville House Publishing. The catalogue includes essays by curator Nato Thompson, art historian Jeffrey Kastner, and artist Trevor Paglen; artist's statements; and brief texts on varies forms of artistic practice evident in the exhibition.

Experimental Geography is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by iCI (Independent Curators International), New York. The guest curator for the exhibition is Nato Thompson. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the iCI Advocates, the iCI Partners, Gerrit L. and Sydie Lansing, and Barbara and John Robinson.

Artists in exhibition Francis Alÿs AREA Chicago The Center for Land Use Interpretation The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) kanarinka (Catherine D'Ignazio) e-Xplo Ilana Halperin Lize Mogel Multiplicity Trevor Paglen Raqs Media Collective Ellen Rothenberg Spurse Deborah Stratman Julia Meltzer and David Thorne Daniel Tucker (project organizer) The We Are Here Map Archive Alex Villar Yin Xiuzhen

Experimental Geography
Kuratoren: iCI (Independent Curators International) & Nato Thompson

Künstler: Francis Alÿs, AREA Chicago , Center for Land Use Interpretation , The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) , kanarinka  (Catherine D´Ignazio), e-Xplo , Ilana Halperin, Lize Mogel, Multiplicity , Trevor Paglen, Raqs Media Collective, Ellen Rothenberg, Spurse , Deborah Stratman, Julia Meltzer & David Thorne, Daniel Tucker, The We Are Here Map Archive , Alex Villar, Yin Xiuzhen

19.09.08 - 12.12.08 Richard E. Peeler Art Center, Greencastle
07.02.09 - 18.04.09 Rochester Art Center, Rochester
28.06.09 - 20.09.09 Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque
21.02.10 - 30.05.10 Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville