(1) Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind, In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (still), 2016. Courtesy of the artists. (2) Francois Knoetze, Core Dump – Dakar (still), 2018. Production still by Anton Scholtz featuring Bamba Diangne. Courtesy of the artist. (3) Tabita Rezaire, Deep Down Tidal (still), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, South Africa. (4) Liu Chuang, Gluttonous Me, 2018. Courtesy of the artist. (5) Cosmopolis #1.5 graphic design by He Ming and Yang Linqing. Courtesy and © MJHAF.

Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence
Mao Jihong Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou
November 2, 2018–January 6, 2019


Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence, opening November 2 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in south-west China, presents artworks and programs by almost 60 artists and groups, exploring ecology, technology and the commons, and envisioning how we today may draw on intelligent technologies, as well as on ecological intelligence, to advance social values—rather than leaving capital to largely define the uses of these techniques and knowledge systems.

Fostering a speculative approach rooted in conceptual thinking and creative experimentation, the project includes artist residencies, concerts, talks, and educational programs taking place across multiple venues in Chengdu and in nearby Jiajiang County. Cosmopolis #1.5 is curated by Kathryn Weir, with associate curator Ilaria Conti and curatorial advisor Zhang Hanlu.

The Cosmopolis platform was launched by the Centre Pompidou in 2016 to highlight research-based creative practices that are rooted in a particular context yet engage in international conversations, reflecting on cultural translation and the situatedness of knowledge. The first two-year cycle, centered on collaboration and collective practice, culminated in the exhibition Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence (Centre Pompidou, 2017).

Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence is the second major exhibition associated with the platform. Stemming from the current cycle of research, the project engages with urban and rural space, and the shifts in the dynamic between them due to the digital economy and other technological, ecological, and cultural transformations. The cosmotechnical theory of philosopher Yuk Hui, presenting “the unification of the cosmos and the moral through technical activities, whether craft-making or art-making,” has informed the project through its re-envisioning of technology within specific historical and cultural contexts.

Cosmopolis #1.5 is fully supported by the Mao Jihong Arts Foundation and the city of Chengdu.

The venues

Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence
Dong Jiao JiYi (Eastern Suburb Memory)

Housed in a warehouse within a former electronics factory, the main exhibition features newly commissioned works alongside interactive installations and research-based projects. It articulates thematic constellations ranging from speculative urbanism to ecological analysis, from image circulations to cosmotechnical visions.

Water and Future Life
MFS IIIx3 – Minjiang Floating System, Jincheng Lake

An archipelago of floating bamboo and wood structures, designed by architect Kunlé Adeyemi/NLÉ Works, forms a hub for communal reflection about life on water and future ecologies. The Cosmopolis iteration of Adeyemi’s Makoko Floating School includes an exhibition addressing water and rural spaces, a concert hall for a program engaging with the musical traditions of minority groups in rural China—from hybrid rock to electronic genres—and a plaza serving as an observation point for the Jincheng Wetland Park ecosystem. MFS IIIx3 makes connections between histories of floating dwellings in Nigeria, where MFS was first created, and water construction technologies in China.

Urban and Rural
Shiyan Village, Jiajiang County

Two interdisciplinary collectives—Arquitectura Expandida from Colombia and Gudskul (ruangrupa, Serrum + Grafis Huru Hara) from Indonesia—were invited to Shiyan village for residencies engaging with local communities. They initiated collaborative processes to expand community engagement in generating new forms of rural transformation. The experimentations around common village spaces seek to articulate social dynamics and develop tools and strategies to collectively generate new understandings of the potential of rural contexts.

Invited artists
Kunlé Adeyemi/NLÉ Works
 (Nigeria/The Netherlands), Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan (Philippines), Arquitectura Expandida (Colombia), Yesmine Ben Khelil (Tunisia), Manuel Chavajay (Guatemala), Cao Minghao and Chen Jianjun (China), Chen Qiulin (China), Rasel Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Cui Jie (China), Emo de Medeiros (Benin), Gudskul (ruangrupa, Serrum + Grafis Huru Hara) (Indonesia), Oscar Farfán (Guatemala/Mexico), Fernando GarcíaDory/Inland (Spain), Ximena Garrido-Lecca (Peru), François-Xavier Gbré (France), Shilpa Gupta (India), Romuald Hazoumè (Benin), He Xiangyu (China), Yasmin Jahan Nupur (Bangladesh), Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya), Sam Keogh (Ireland), Francois Knoetze (South Africa), Li Lang (China), Li Shuang (China), Li Wenguang (China), Liu Chuang (China), Liu Dan (China), Payne Zhu (China), Prabhavathi Meppayil (India), Mimi Onuoha (Nigeria/USA), Qiu Anxiong (China), Qiu Zhijie (China), Tabita Rezaire (France), Larissa Sansour (Palestine) and Søren Lind (Denmark),Bogosi Sekhukhuni (South Africa), Kuai Shen (Ecuador), Shen Xin (China), Yasmin Smith (Australia), Tentative Collective (Pakistan), Tricky Walsh (Australia), Wang Jianwei (China), Munem Wasif (Bangladesh), Wei Haoyan (China), Dana Whabira (UK/Zimbabwe), Ming Wong (Singapore/Germany), Xu Bing (China), Ye Funa (China), Yu Guo (China), Yuan Goang-Ming (Taiwan, China), Zheng Bo (China), Zheng Yuan (China)

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