SciArt - Culture of Contamination
"Culture of Contamination"
This exhibition, which will take place at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), will be on view from late September through January 15th, with the possibility of extension beyond January.
The notion of contamination permeates many aspects of life; while contamination literally describes a biological impurity, it also metaphorically embodies the relentless threshold of “otherness.” Ultimately, contamination is the trespassing of inside and out, a mixing of what supposedly belongs and what decidedly doesn’t. Our basic reality is characterized by a construct of separateness and the vital comfort of the contained self.
Our bodies, our ideas, and the environment are not only vulnerable to contamination, but shaped by the very concept of it. Even the words we speak out loud seep back into our understanding of their meaning. Declaring “rhetoric itself as parasitic or viral,” Jacques Derrida states that metaphors are “the logic of contamination and the contamination of logic.”
From plastic polluted seas to unwelcome weeds, to the outbreak of infectious diseases and viral memes, the threat of unwanted exposure lurks high and low. How do we frame these invasions of boundaries and risks of ruin? What does it mean to spread, to spoil? While the museum will not be open for visitors until January 2021 at the earliest (as NYSCI's reopening plan currently states), this physical show will have a robust virtual landing page (on both NYSCI's and SciArt's websites) and we will have a series of virtual events so that all may 'visit' the exhibition from around the world. Such events include a reception, artist talks, etc. accompanied by professional photos and video walkthroughs of the physical show. it is up, just as we would a typical physical show.