Vibrations of Dust
Artists: Alchemyverse (Bicheng Liang and Yixuan Shao), Shuyi Cao, Kees van Leeuwen
Curated by Yindi Chen
April 6 – April 13, 2022
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, New York
Living in an epoch of disturbed landscapes and collapsing ecosystems requires us to rethink the entanglement between humans and nature and expand our perceptions beyond human scales of space and time. Focusing on subtle processes of change and the long duration of geological activity, Vibrations of Dust opens up narratives to overlooked matters: silent stones, unnoticed frequencies, and derelict shelters. It addresses the question of survival and precarity from the life of the planet to that of each individual and examines how humans, nonhumans, and environments relate to and affect each other. Through transforming their observation and practices on land into visual and auditory experiences in the exhibition, the artists reflect upon the cycle of life and decay and inquire into the symbiotic relationship between humans and the Earth.
The artist collective Alchemyverse (Bicheng Liang and Yixuan Shao) creates haptic encounters between materials and that transmit the unheard frequencies into tangible vibrations. The tottering structure of their installation is supported by wood and rocks, bringing the shift between tension and balance; topographic maps morph into cyanotypes of natural landscape, intertwining different spatial and temporal scales.
Shuyi Cao fabulates the entangled relation of living and non-living in A Vast Shimmer Spans All (2022). The video work unfolds narratives about evolution and extinction and blurs timelines in the microscopic world and the virtual environment. Her glazed stoneware sculptures combine organic and inorganic materials——fragments of fossil wood and powder of oxidized metal, merging natural and artificial processes.
Kees van Leeuwen’s photographs document his extensive research on nuclear bunkers. The concrete blocks keep static in human time, contrasting to the changing seasons around them. As structures that prevent vibrations, bunkers alter our perspectives of space——of which only silence and isolation remain. The residues of geopolitical conflicts reveal human disturbance on landscapes and remind us of the possible planetary catastrophe.
Vibrations of Dust attempts to reconsider the experience of living in a damaged world, perceive time on a geological scale, and correlate human life with histories of the planet.