EXPLODE EVERY DAY: An Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Wonder
Exhibition dates: May 28, 2016 – February 28, 2017
Opening May 28, 2016, MASS MoCA's exhibition Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Wonder includes a series of new business card origami sculptures by Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.
These works, inspired by the pioneering techniques of Dr. Jeannine Mosely, have emerged from an open ended experimental process that takes its cues simultaneously from the formalisms of mathematics and the open-ended dynamics of nature. On show will be a 3-dimensional sculpture, Fractal Ruin, constructed from 8000 psychedelic business cards whose backbone architecture is derived from the structure of the Mosely Snowflake Sponge fractal; plus two 2-dimensional works, including Origami Wall Frieze (diagramed above) that uses business card origami as a new method for "drawing" on a wall. This site-specific low-relief sculpture evokes circuit board design, set theory, early video-game graphics, needlepoint, and seventies fem-power aesthetics. In addition will be a diagrammatic rendition of the interior geometry of a level two Snowflake Sponge revealing the form's unique fractal symmetries, from which the above works have been "wildified." See more about construction of these works.
Harnessing the idea of wonder as a thematic metaphor, MASS MoCA's exhibition "Explode Every Day" features both existing and new works by twenty-three international artists, each touching on certain facets of wonder, including: the perceptual/ visionary, the technological/scientific, the philosophical/meditative, time/cosmos, and illusion/fear.
As curator Denise Markonish remarks, "a true state of wonder agitates, mesmerizes, and is almost forcible and shocking. It is a sudden intake of breath, a gaping mouth a relinquishing understanding. As commonly used, 'wonder' is sometimes mistaken for curiosity, which centers on fact-finding and explanation. In "Explode Every Day," viewers experience a purer state of wonder, a state poised between knowing and not knowing and defined by an experience of something truly new."
Co-organized by Markonish and artist Sean Foley, the exhibition title "Explode Every Day" was inspired by writer Ray Bradbury's elegant remark: "You remain invested in your inner child by exploding every day. You don’t worry about the future, you don’t worry about the past—you just explode."
Jonathan Allen, Jen Bervin, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, Jason de Haan, Tristan Duke, Sharon Ellis, Tom Friedman, Christopher Gausby, Hope Ginsburg, Laurent Grasso, Institute For Figuring and Margaret Wertheim, Nina Katchadourian, Michael Light, Charles Lindsay, Megan and Murray McMillan, Ryan and Trevor Oakes, Demetrius Oliver, Dario Robleto, Rachel Sussman, Julianne Swartz, Chris Taylor, Fred Tomaselli.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalog that includes essays from renowned wonder-author Lawrence Weschler, clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, art historian Barbara Maria Stafford, Jill Tarter (former director of the Center for SETI Research), and others; edited by Denise Markonish and co-published by Prestel.