“Naturally Hypernatural” Conference at SVA Explores the Meaning of Nature in the 21st Century


Naturally Hypernatural: Visions of Nature is an interdisciplinary conference investigating the fluctuating “essences” of “nature” and the “natural” in the 21st century. Each of these terms carries with it an enormity of philosophical questions ranging from the alteration of life itself, to dialogues concerning the notion of the Anthropocene, a term used to describe man’s intervention in the natural world. The conference will focus on contemporary issues in the visual arts as they intersect with the biological and geological sciences, confirming that nature remains an intrinsically mysterious, ever more mutable entity.

At the present time, cellular parts are being remixed in laboratories to create synthetic organisms while geological transformations are forecasting wild swings in weather conditions. Human reproduction regularly occurs in Petri dishes while cucumbers are grown in space. The artificial and the natural now combine to form novel entities, never before seen on earth, while animal species dwindle down to extinction every day. Animals and plants are exhibited as contemporary art, while the real is conflated with the imaginary. Visual art has become a social practice platform with projects that intersect with urban farming, DIY biology and extremes in performance art. In addition, there will be an exhibition of work by students, alumni and faculty, generated through SVA’s Bio Art Laboratory, the first of its kind in the USA.

For tickets and more information visit naturallyhypernatural.sva.edu.

Naturally Hypernatural: Visions of Nature will take place at the School of Visual Arts (335 West 16th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan) between Friday, November 14 & Sunday, November 16.