Original Post: www.e-flux.com
November 2, 2018

[1] Kunlé Adeyemi / NLÉ Works, MFS IIIx3 – Minjiang Floating System, 2018. Courtesy of NLÉ Works. [2] Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, In-Habit: Project Another Country (Here, There, Everywhere) (detail), 2018. Courtesy of the artists. [3] Wanuri Kahiu, Pumzi (still), 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Inspired Minority Pictures. [4] Yu Guo, Long-Focus Videographer (still), 2017. Courtesy of the artist. [5] Cui Jie, Bank of China and Bank of Communications, 2018. Courtesy of the artist. [6] Yuan Goang-Ming, Tomorrowland (still), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Tina Keng Gallery. [7] 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 3, 2018–January 6, 2019


Professional preview: Friday, November 2
Press inquiries: press [​at​] mjhaf.org

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/France), 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), 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/Noffice (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), Zhu Payne (China)

Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence opens today in Chengdu, China, presenting artworks and programs by almost 60 artists and groups envisioning how we 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. The project is curated by Kathryn Weir, with associate curator Ilaria Conti and assistant curator Zhang Hanlu.

Fostering a speculative approach rooted in conceptual thinking and creative experimentation, Cosmopolis #1.5 includes artist residencies, concerts, talks, and educational programs taking place across multiple venues in Chengdu and in nearby Jiajiang County. The main exhibition at Dong Jiao Jiyi former electronics factory features 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.

Among the works created for Cosmopolis #1.5, Ming Wong’s speculative entwining of hip-hop, Sichuanese opera and science fiction, The Bamboo Spaceship, was filmed at the post-industrial factory site. Zheng Bo invites viewers into a bamboo grove that has taken root within the warehouse space of the exhibition to unhook from energy-consuming networks and to cultivate an immediate, empathetic awareness of plants and other non-human beings. Yasmin Smith, who produced work in Sichuan’s “Red Basin” relating to bamboo, eucalyptus and tea plantations, finds ways of materializing the ecological intelligence of different species of plants, through combining ceramics with chemistry and environmental science. Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan’s In-Habit: Project Another Country (Here, There, Everywhere), a cardboard metropolis on a giant satellite dish, is poised to receive intelligence from other times and places and to transmit fragile truths.

Cosmopolis #1.5 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 shifts. The cosmotechnical theory of philosopher Yuk Hui has informed the project through its re-envisioning of technology within specific historical and cultural contexts.

The Cosmopolis platform, launched by the Centre Pompidou in 2016, constructs bridges between new forms of artistic practice and research, between reconceived geographies and histories. The first two-year cycle, centering on collaboration and collective practice, culminated in the exhibition Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence (Centre Pompidou, 2017). Artistic research—and the interdisciplinary and interregional knowledge production that it generates—helps to create the conditions for dialogue between different systems of thought in the arts, critical theory and the sciences. Artists bring forth unrecognised constellations, lines of influence and forms of knowledge and work against the ideology of single, synchronising forms of cultural or technological development.

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

Opening program

Exploring the key themes of Cosmopolis #1.5, the opening weekend program is presented across multiple venues.

Jincheng Lake, Chengdu
November 3, 10am
Exhibition visit
MFS IIIx3 – Minjiang Floating System
Kunlé Adeyemi presents the architectural commission of floating bamboo and wood structures, forming a hub for communal reflection about life on water and future ecologies, developed by his studio NLÉ Works in the Jincheng Wetland Park ecosystem.

Fangsuo Commune, Chengdu
November 3, 2pm
Keynote round table
“Contemporary Practice Transforming Historical Algorithms: Art as intelligent system”
A discussion moderated by cultural theorist Ackbar Abbas with artists Liu Dan, Liu Sola and Wang Jianwei of how history unfolds through transformations in cultural forms—and of how contemporary practice radicalises these forms.

Fangsuo Commune, Chengdu
November 3, 4pm
Artist’s talks
Liu Chuang
, Ming Wong, Tricky Walsh, Sam Keogh and Kuai Shen discuss their practice and the new works commissioned for Cosmopolis #1.5.

Shiyan village, Jiajiang county
November 4, 11:30am
Residency discussion
Conversation on strategies for bringing visibility to rural experiences with Fernando García-Dory, founder of INLAND, and Jiajiang collectives in residence Arquitectura Expandida and Gudskul, who initiated community-based processes to generate new understandings of the potential of rural contexts.

Shiyan village, Jiajiang county
November 4, 2pm
Ceramics workshop by Jiajiang artist in residence Yasmin Smith.

Fanmate Creative Area 321, Chengdu
November 4, 6:30pm
“Cutting across Musical Genres”
Opening talk by Liu Suola, curator of the “X Music Festival,” celebrating contemporary hybridizations of longstanding Chinese musical forms.

Fanmate Creative Area 321, Chengdu
November 4, 8pm
Moxi Zishi
Performance by Yi musician Moxi Zishi who blends electronic, folk and rock styles.


Bilingual Mandarin/English catalogue with full colour illustration, 217 pages, including a conversation between Yuk Hui and Kathryn Weir, “Enlarged Intelligence: Cosmotechnics and ecological awareness.”

Catalogue inquiries: press [​at​] mjhaf.org