August 31–December 3, 2021
SAIC Galleries, 33 E. Washington
Tuesday – Saturday
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Appointments encouraged
Earthly Observatory explores how we sense, portray, and engage our ever-expanding planetary entanglements. Through crafted visions and close listening, legacies of conquest and movements of protest, the exhibition examines the contested relations between ecology and economy, ethics and aesthetics that dominate our experience at one moment, and evades our awareness at another. Drawn from diverse practices across art, design, and the natural sciences, the works invite questions about the ways that we — as one among many Earthlings — create knowledge of our manifold world.
Featuring: Allora & Calzadilla+Ted Chiang, Jonas N.T. Becker, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Kelly Church, Xavier Cortada, Rena Detrixhe, Paul Dickinson, Mark Dion, Jeannette Ehlers, Terry Evans, Assaf Evron, The Field Museum Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies, Terike Haapoja, Paul Harfleet, Isao Hashimoto, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Amanda Hess & Shane O’Neill, Katie Kingery-Page, Tim Lamey, SAIC’s ARC Land Acknowledgment Subcommittee, Meredith Leich, Norman W. Long, Peggy Macnamara, Nandipha Mntambo, Cherish Parrish, Claire Pentecost, Ken Rinaldo, Zoé Strecker, Cole Swanson, Anaïs Tondeur, Walter Tschinkel, Erin Wiersma
Earthly Observatory is curated by SAIC faculty members Giovanni Aloi and Andrew S. Yang and with the assistance of Director of Exhibitions Hannah Barco, Executive Director of Exhibitions Trevor Martin and Graduate Curatorial Assistants Sophie Buchmueller (Dual MA 2022), Sydney Gush (MFA 2022), Parinda Mai (MFA 2022), Cole Howard Thompson (MA 2021), with Director of Exhibitions Operations Steven Plaxco, Senior Exhibition Manager Michael Hall, Assistant Director of Exhibitions Joshua Fairbanks, and Administrative Assistant Kaitlyn Albrecht. Exhibitions at the SAIC Galleries are supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Exhibition documentation by Tony Favarula.
Giovanni Aloi is an author, educator, and curator specializing in the representation of nature and the environment in art. Aloi is the Editor in Chief of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. He is the author of many books on art and nature including Art & Animals (2011), Speculative Taxidermy (2018), Why Look at Plants? The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art (2018), Botanical Speculations (2018), and Lucian Freud Herbarium (2019). He is a regular public speaker at the Art Institute of Chicago, has contributed to BBC radio programs, worked for Tate Galleries in London, and curated exhibitions in the USA and abroad. Aloi lectures on modern and contemporary art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Andrew S. Yang works across the visual arts, natural sciences, and expanded research. His projects have been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Spencer Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. His writings can be found in Leonardo, Biological Theory, Art Journal, as well as the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies and Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations. Yang was inaugural artist-in-residence at Yale-NUS College in Singapore (2020) and is currently curatorial fellow at the Center for Humans & Nature (2021) as well as a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies