An Exhibition of Selected Projects from 23 Years of Work
October 4, 2017 - Feb 4, 2018
Hunter East Harlem Gallery
Curated by Arden Sherman
Hunter East Harlem Gallery presented an arranged selection of past projects from the collective, Futurefarmers.
Futurefarmers is a group of artists and designers whose work is an intermingling of design, art, ecology and human systems created through projects that utilize collectivity, dialogue, play, and making. Founded in 1994, the collective started as a design studio and slowly moved into projects that involved robotics, gardening, and civic structures. Futurefarmers has hosted an Artist in Residence program since its inception, making up today’s geographic dispersion of Futurefarmers artists and collaborators. For the past 23 years, the group has collaborated with hundreds of specialists in various fields, exhibited at dozens of cultural institutions, and created ideologies that aim for an improved social existence.
The exhibition highlights specific projects from the past 23 years of Futurefarmers work and attempts to place the group into the canon of important socially engaged artists and designers. Arrange highlights key thematic threads within the collective’s practice and the viewer is thrust into the world of Futurefarmers where, like a small ecosystem, their projects intertwine art, science, design and the environment. The exhibition title harks to an inherent resistance to the typical retrospective exhibition model and also the collective’s interest in arrangement, organization, and non-hierarchical cataloguing structures. The viewer, guided through the exhibition by professional actors, sees art objects act as props to the stories, interpretations, and phantoms of Futurefarmers’ past projects through a scripted, performative experience. The exhibition can be understood as an experience that grasps the temporal and interstitial moments of dialogue, conversation, performance, and collaboration - processes that are deeply rooted in the work of Futurefarmers.