Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh are proud to present The Extended Mind, including Gianfranco Baruchello, Marcus Coates, Marjolijn Dijkman, Nikolaus Gansterer, Joseph Grigely, Agnieszka Kurant & John Menick, Daria Martin, William McKeown, Goro Murayama, Angelo Plessas, Magali Reus, as well as Myriam Lefkowitz’s Walk, Hands, Eyes (Edinburgh), a unique city-wide performance event.
Talbot Rice Gallery seeks to unlock the potential of universities to contribute to contemporary art, with both projects rooted in research called the History of Distributed Cognition (2014–18). Evidencing the transformative potential of culture to expand consciousness, this research looked at the history of the idea that our minds are extended across our bodies and the world: enabled by tools, technologies, institutions, materials and techniques.
Working in collaboration with the academic team behind it, Talbot Rice Gallery now brings together contemporary subjects – shaped by artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet and global economics – and current artistic concerns with language, autopoiesis, materiality and embodiment.
Gianfranco Baruchello’s paintings describe our sometimes coincidental connection to systems – whether sociocultural, industrial, mechanical or virtual – which define our place in the world; Marcus Coates takes an experience-expanding vicarious trip to the Amazon jungle on behalf of another person, and presents cast shadow forms of extinct animals. Marjolijn Dijkman looks at how huge spatio-temporal scales can be brought into our understanding, including the portents of artificial intelligence and communications with extraterrestrial life.
Nikolaus Gansterer manifests the symbols and processes we use to think; Joseph Grigely – deaf from the age of ten – displays the notes he has used to communicate, revealing our embodied relationship to languag, while Agnieszka Kurant & John Menick critically adopt Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to consider the emergence of anonymous, dispersed work forces. Daria Martin shows robots that learn through sensors interacting with human dancers.
William McKeown’s abstract paintings capture the nuanced and active nature of perception; Goro Murayama uses self-generating techniques that result in artist and artwork emerging together; Angelo Plessas takes remote retreats from the insidious effects of the corporately-motivated internet to realise its consciousness expanding potential; Magali Reus makes sculptures that configure objects from everyday life in a way that helps us recognise their often unseen cognitive roles.
Alongside The Extended Mind, Talbot Rice Gallery is delighted to present Walk, Hands, Eyes (Edinburgh), an ongoing performative walking practice devised by French artist and choreographer Myriam Lefkowitz. Over the course of an hour’s silent walk, a participant and a guide form an immersive relationship with their surroundings. The participant has their eyes closed, but is asked at times to briefly open them to create a unique mental snapshot.