Longitudes

Longitudes cuts across Latitudes’ projects and research with news, updates, and reportage.

Text on Crystal Bennes in the “Betwixt 2024” published by the Freelands Foundation

(Above and below) Betwixt 2024 publication. Photos by Andy Stagg, Courtesy of the Freelands Foundation.


In February 2023Latitudes was commissioned to write a text on the artistic practice of Crystal Bennes for “Betwixt 2024”, publication produced by the Freelands Foundation as part of their Freelands Artist Programme initiative supporting emerging artists across the UK since 2018.

The book has now launched, coinciding with the opening of an exhibition across four sites in central and north London between 17–23 February 2024, in which Bennes participates alongside 19 other artists based in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Sheffield.

For the occasion, Bennes presents “When Computers Were Women” (2021), a project on the connections between the histories of computational and weaving technology, that stemmed from a residency at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) in 2018 when she was struck by the formal similarities of the computer programming punchcards she saw in a cabinet and an older form of data-processing technology: the punch cards used to control the rods and hooks that raise the warp threads of looms fitted with Jacquard devices.

The artists featured in the “Betwixt 2024” publication are Adebola Oyekanmi, Adele Vye, Alaya Ang, Beau W. Beakhouse, Christopher Steenson, Crystal Bennes, Dorothy Hunter, Gail Howard, Jacqueline Holt, Kedisha Coakley, Kirsty Russell, Maria de Lima, Phoebe Davies, Rian Treanor, Sadia Pineda Hameed, Susan Hughes, Tara McGinn, Theresa Bruno, Thulani Rachia, Tyler Mellins and Zara Mader.

Writers in the publication are Alice Bucknell, Beth Hughes, Candice Jacobs, Cindy Sissokho, Colette Griffin, Ingrid Lyons, Jamie Sutcliffe, Jenny Richards, Kandace Siobhan Walker, Khanyisile Mbongwa, Lara Eggleton, Lucy A. Sames, Maria Howard, Mariana Cánepa Luna, Mark Peter Wright, Max Andrews, Precious Adesina, Rosalie Doubal, Sunshine Wong, Susannah Dickey, Theo Reeves-Evison and Zakiya McKenzie.

Published in 2024, 370 pages. Designed by Kristin Metho.

Available for £15 (plus shipping) here.

(Above and below) Crystal Bennes, “When Computers Were Women” (2021). Courtesy of the artist.


A month later, on March 16, 2024, Bennes will present her new project “O (Copper, cotton, cobalt, crude, naphtha, bauxite, palm)” (2023) at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, culminating her two-year residency there and at the Edinburgh College of Art on the Freelands Artist Programme. Involving tapestry, sculptural installation, video, and performance, her project addresses the rapaciousness and sophistry of commodities trading, an arena in which financial instruments are used to bet on the future value of raw materials and natural resources including crude oil, metals, coffee, and cotton.

Latitudes’ text will also be available on the Talbot Rice Gallery website and in the gallery booklets for £2 at the venue. 

Crystal Bennes, Fragment from “O (Copper, cotton, cobalt, crude, naphtha, bauxite, palm)”, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

A Classicist with a PhD from King’s College London, Dr Crystal Bennes previously worked in the U.S. Senate, and as an architecture and design journalist before retraining as an artist. She studied for an MFA at Aalto University, Helsinki, and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and obtained a practice-based PhD at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Her practice is grounded in long-term projects that foreground archival research, durational fieldwork, and material experimentation. Recent bodies of work include an ongoing photographic exploration of an artificial island in Sweden created entirely out of radioactive waste from industrially-produced synthetic fertiliser and the experimental recreation of a nineteenth-century hay meadow based on a myth of unintentional plant migration from Italy to Denmark. 

Recent exhibitions include Platform: Early Career Artist Award, Edinburgh Art Festival (2023); Flora Italica, Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen (2023); Mauvaise Herbes, Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France; No Island is an Island, Landskrona Foto International Festival; and Hermes and the Veil, Gallery North, Newcastle (all 2021).

Klara and the Bomb (2022) her first photobook—charting connecting threads between the U.S.’s nuclear weapons research, women programmers, the invention of modern computers, and nuclear colonialism—was published by The Eriskay Connection in 2022, and it was shortlisted for the Photo Text Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2023. 

Between 2022 and 2024 she was a resident at Talbot Rice Gallery as part of a Freelands Foundation Artists programme. Together with Tom Jeffreys, she is the editor of The Peninent Review.


RELATED CONTENT:

  • Latitudes’ writing since 2005.
  • Text on Lara Almarcegui’s Graves (2021) in “Sketches of Transition. An Atlas on Growth and Decay” edited by Michele Bazzoli, 27 Oct 2023
  • Text on Crystal Bennes for the Freelands Foundation Artists programme, 31 May 2023
  • Latitudes’ essay “Un suelo para las historias del arte del futuro” [Soil for Future Art Histories] in TBA21’s catalogue “Futuros Abundantes”, 22 Jan 2023
  • Max Andrews reviews Bruno Zhu’s exhibition “I am not afraid”, Cordova, Barcelona, 30 Mar 2022
  • Nueva publicación: “Passió i cartografia per a un incendi dels ulls” (MACBA, 2022), 2 Mar 2022 
  • New publication: “Things Things Say” now available, 28 Feb 2022
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Latitudes’ essay “Un suelo para las historias del arte del futuro” [Soil for Future Art Histories] in TBA21’s catalogue “Futuros Abundantes”

"Futuros abundantes" / "Abundant Futures" is co-published by TBA21 and Turner, 2023. Photos by Enrico Fiorese.

The exhibition catalogue “Futuros Abundantes / Abundant Futures” is now available. The book will be launched in ARCOmadrid’s section of ArtsLibris, on February 23rd, 2023, at 5pm. 

With contributions from Rosemary-Claire Collard, Jessica Dempsey and Juanita Sundberg; Beatrice Forchini; Macarena Gómez-Barris; Berta Gutiérrez Casaos; Soledad Gutiérrez Rodríguez; Latitudes; Regina de Miguel; Plata; Matthew Ritchie; Jess Saxby; and Daniela Zyman. Poems by Ibn Zaydun and an artistic intervention by Abraham Cruzvillegas.

Hardcover, 16,5 x 24 cm
Spanish / English, 336 pages
Edited by Daniela Zyman and Eva Ebersberger
Book design by Matteo Guarnaccia
Publisher Editorial Turner
ISBN 978-84-18895-65-4
EUR 25
Miguel Covarrubias, “The Tree of Modern Art planted 60 Years Ago” [El árbol del arte moderno plantado hace 60 años], plantado hace 60 años], in Vanity Fair, vol. XL, n.º 3, New York, May 1933, pp. 36-37.

Edited by Daniela Zyman and Eva Ebersberger, and co-published with Editorial Turner in the context of the exhibition “Abundant Futures. Works from the TBA21 Collection” curated by Zyman, the show was co-organised by TBA21 and C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía in Córdoba. 

The 336-page book includes Latitudes newly commissioned essay titled “Un suelo para las historias del arte del futuro” [Soil for Future Art Histories], which delves into how we might turn the page on the pseudo-organic root-and-branch diagrams that have underpinned the cultural narratives of the archetypical institutions of twentieth-century art, and instead consider an entity that has been largely neglected in its capacity to connect human and natural relations: soil.

The essay is published in Spanish. Below is an excerpt in English: 

“Thinking and building a new logic outside of the dualism of humanity on the one hand and nature on the other necessitates new narratives, new grammar, new relational strategies, and such new explanatory figurations. History in this alternative perspective is a history where human activity has always been meshed and mulched in the web of life. Following a sense of both humanity-in-nature and nature-in-humanity, we could imagine an art history and way of making exhibitions that is both outside in and inside out.

We could better imagine a shared vocabulary—terms that easily move back and forth between aesthetic and non-aesthetic uses. And we could give more attention to categories that, like soil, already seem to refuse a distinction between cultural forms and other forms of lived experience. The present and the future likewise require reconstructing and refreshing the theoretical model of the whole genre of the exhibition, its possibilities, and conditions. Allowing a wider and deeper sense of image- and object-making lineages could create new conditions for abundance, tackling the damaging split still left between the humanities and the natural world, and the imprint that this rift has left on the institutions of knowledge which allowed art history and artistic practices to be considered an alternative order to the forces and objects of the web of life. What we then might find is not a universal and singular structure, not a unitary tree of modernity, but countless very specific perspectives, practices, systems, temporalities, and imaginations in varying states of composition as well as decomposition, active as well as lying fallow.”


Essay keywords: Ecology, Daniel D. Richter, environmental art histories, Art History, abundance, temporalities of soil, “human forcing”, Environmental collapse, exhibition-making, Dipesh Chakrabarty, diagrams, Earth system, Miguel Covarrubias, Alfred H. Barr Jr., MoMA, tree genealogy, Porphyrian trees, environmental history, rewilding art history, María Puig de la Bellacasa, Jason W. Moore, Web of Life, soil, landscape, farming, agricultural intensification, Aldo Leopold, “to think like a mountain”, Julie Cruikshank, soil-attentive ethos, humanity-in-nature, nature-in-humanity, Caroline Levine, overlapping rhythms of art institutions.


→ RELATED CONTENT:



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“‘Minor’ Ornithologies” podcast conducted by Max Andrews of Latitudes for TBA21 on st_age



Listen to the podcast here.

Latitudes’ Max Andrews, a curator, writer and lifelong birder, recently conducted the podcast Minor” Ornithologies for TBA21 on st_age (Season 4, Episode 4). The podcast’s guests are Alex Holt, a spokesperson for Bird Names for Birds, a movement to decolonise bird names, and zoömusicologist Dr Hollis Taylor who specialises in birdsong. Through their perspectives, we glimpse new and speculative kinds of human–bird narratives – what Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin have coined “minor ornithologies”. 

The interviews are complemented by two audio clips, one of a Pied Butcherbird recorded in N Queensland, and another of a Superb Lyrebird mimicking birdsong and two flute phrases recorded in New South Wales, both courtesy of Hollis Taylor.

This edition accompanies Laia Estruch’s performance “Ocells Perduts V67” (2022) also produced by TBA21 on st_age, and takes flight into the realm of birds, looking at politics and practices that disrupt dominant historical narratives, and exceed scientific and cultural boundaries.


(Above and below) Laia Estruch, “Ocells Perduts” (2021) was performed at MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona as part of the exhibition “Panorama 21. Notes for an Eye Fire”. Commissioned by MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona with the support of PUBLICS, Helsinki. Estruch’s research was supported by the grant Premis Barcelona 2020 of the Ajuntament de Barcelona. Photos: Miquel Coll.


“Ens han canviat el cel a ple vol” (Nos han cambiado el cielo a pleno vuelo / They changed the sky in mid flight) part of Laia Estruch’s “Ocells Perduts” (2021) installed at MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona as part of the exhibition “Panorama 21. Notes for an Eye Fire”, October 2021–February 2022. Photos: Roberto Ruiz.


Latitudes has been collaborating with Laia Estruch since early 2020 in preparation for a year-long programme to be hosted at the Helsinki-based curatorial and commissioning agency PUBLICS, based around the notion of a partial, distributed, and fragmentary retrospective of her artistic practice. The pandemic changed those plans and soon after the invitation to curate MACBA’s first Panorama triennial (Panorama 21: Apunts per a un incendi dels ulls”) came along, for which Laia presented the commission Ocells Perduts” (2021). The project was produced with the support of PUBLICS, and for the research phase, Laia received the support of the beca Premis Barcelona 2020 of the Ajuntament de Barcelona.


→ RELATED CONTENT:



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Cover Story—December 2019: Curating in the Web of Life

Latitudes' homepage www.lttds.org

The December 2019 monthly Cover Story ‘Curating in the Web of Life' homepage: www.lttds.org
 

‘Last month Latitudes gave a lecture entitled “Curating in the web of life” at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, as part of the public program for the exhibition The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100. The presentation argued that modern art and modernist art history largely imagined humanity and the humanities making their own history by themselves while hiding the fact that their productions, relations, and economy were always teeming with biophysical processes.’

→ Continue reading
→ After December 2019, this story will be archived here.

Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage featuring past, present or forthcoming projects, research, texts, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.

RELATED CONTENTS

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Lecture ‘Curating in the web of life’ in Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 7 November 2019 at 7:30pm





Image: Dan Perjovschi.

On November 7, 2019, at 7:30pm Latitudes will present the lecture ‘Curating in the web of life’ in the context of the public programme related to the group exhibition ‘The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100’ on view at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, until December 1, 2019. 

Curated by Snejana Krasteva and Ekaterina Lazareva, the exhibition ‘The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100’ currently occupies the entire Museum and presents historical and new works by over 50 Russian and international artists—from a 16th-century tapestry to works using VR.


Roman Keller and Christina Hemauer, ‘A Road Not Taken. The Story of the Jimmy Carter White House Solar Installation’, film still, 66 min., 2010. Courtesy of the artists.


‘Curating in the web of life’
— A lecture by Latitudes

Modern art and modernist art history largely assented to the ontological and epistemological lie which imagined humanity and the humanities making their own history by themselves, while hiding the fact that their productions, relations, and economy were always teeming with biophysical processes. The increasing violence by which the limits of the planet, its feedback loops and tipping points, are forcing themselves into world events has profound consequences for how we narrate (art) history and curate exhibitions in the web of life. 

New disciplines are broaching the separation between human activities and Earth systems – environmental law, political ecology, ecological economics, and so on. Likewise, what is at issue when artists, curators, exhibitions, and museums venture into new formations and shared rather than adjacent perspectives? What is at stake in a curatorial ecology, an environmental art history, or in integrating socio-natural processes into an institution’s account of itself, and so on? Turning to a world-systems approach as well as the insights of micro-history, Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna will present a series of curatorial and artistic perspectives on such questions, drawing from “uncomfortable objects” and “dishonest research” [1] across their exhibitions “4.543 billion. The matter of matter” (2017–18),Hemauer Keller​: United Alternative Energies” (Kunsthal Aarhus, 2011) Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities” (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, 2008), and related projects such as the residency “Geologic Time” (Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity​, 2017).
 
[1] “Uncomfortable objects” is a notion borrowed from artist Mariana Castillo Deball, and “dishonest research” from artist Mercedes Azpilicueta.
 
RELATED CONTENTS:

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Conferencia ‘4.543 miles de millones y la naturaleza social abstracta’, Jornadas Eremuak, Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, 17–19 octubre 2019

Imagen gráfica de las jornadas. Cortesía eremuak.

Latitudes ha sido invitada a participar en las jornadas 2019 de eremuak, que tendrán lugar en la primera planta de Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, entre el 17 y el 19 de octubre del 2019. 

Tituladas ‘-K/-S naturak / naturalezas’, el comité de eremuak (formado por Maider Lopez, Aimar Arriola e Iñaki Imaz), pretende hacerse eco de los ‘variados aspectos de lo que tradicionalmente se ha denominado naturaleza. Desde el abandono de los espacios institucionales en busca de un afuera comprometido y renovador, hasta la inclusión de procesos u organismos vivos en esos mismos espacios, el deseo de exterioridad parece evidente.’

Evitando recurrentes simplificaciones o la reducción del eje temático a binomios humano/no- humano, los organizadores aportan al término el matiz de la pluralidad (la –k de naturak, o la –s de naturalezas) con la intención de ‘atender a una diversidad más acorde a la realidad del mundo del arte y todas las naturalezas que genera o con las que se enfrenta.’

El programa incluye la participación de una docena de conferenciantes, así como la presentación de la revista eremuak#6, Cuaderno de artista, y a modo de clausura, un concierto de Hidrogenesse (entrada libre con invitación, recoger en Azkuna Zentroa). Las jornadas son de libre acceso hasta completar aforo.


Sala de la exposición colectiva ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’, CAPC musée d'art contemporain, 2017–18. Photo: Latitudes/RK.

Tomando como referencia una de las diez salas de la exposición colectiva ‘4.543 milliards. La question de la matière’ (CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2017–18), Latitudes analiza la noción de "naturaleza social abstracta" acuñada por el historiador ambiental e historiador geógrafo Jason W. Moore mediante la obra de cuatro de los artistas participantes: Lara Almarcegui, Pep Vidal, Lucas Ihlein y Amy Balkin.


Actualización
Jornadas Eremuak 2019 en vimeo.
Video de la presentación y turno de preguntas.


→ CONTENIDO RELACIONADO:
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Helene Romakin interviews Latitudes for artfridge.de



Over the course of the Summer, Helene Romakin (PhD candidate at the Institute for the History and Theory of the Architecture, ETH Zurich) interviewed us for the Berlin-based online platform www.artfridge.de run by the art historian and curator Anna Lena Werner.

As Helene mentions in her introduction, we met last July in Valencia, after Mariana's conversation with Lara Almarcegui on the occasion of her solo exhibition “Agras Volcano. Mining Rights” at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM). Afterwards, we had a lively discussion on several topics surrounding Lara's practice, our thoughts on other artistic practices tackling a range of environmental issues, the Extinction Rebellion, etc. so we were happy to continue our conversation when she proposed doing this interview looking back at several projects we produced in the mid-two thousands. 


RELATED CONTENTS:

  • Conversation for the exhibition catalogue "Limits to Growth" by Nicholas Mangan (Sternberg Press, 2016) 31 October 2016
  • In conversation with Lucas Ihlein for Artlink Magazine 5 September 2016
  • Witte de With and Spring Workshop's 'Moderation(s)' publication 'End Note(s)' is out! 5 March 2015
  • Interview with Nicholas Mangan in Mousse Magazine #47, February–March 2015 11 February 2015
  • "Focus Interview: Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum", frieze, Issue 157, September 2013 14 September 2013

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Cover Story—September 2019: ‘Polperro to Detroit’

Latitudes' homepage www.lttds.org

The September 2019 monthly Cover Story ‘Polperro to Detroit’ is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org

“In 1937 the retired sailor Samuel Puckey began transforming Peace Haven, his 19th-century fisherman’s cottage, into what would become known as The Shell House. Over the years Puckey used his collection of cowries, limpets, clams and other shells from around the world to embellished the façade with his maritime memories, including a depiction of the eminent Eddystone lighthouse. The Shell House is effectively a public artwork (as well as being holiday cottage) in Polperro, an idyllic seaside village in Cornwall, England. Polperro once revolved around the vast shoals of pilchards that used to come into Cornish waters in late summer. The thriving fishing industry was the mainstay of the community, and the seine-netted and salted pilchards exported in their millions to Italy.”


Continue reading
→ After September 2019, this story will be archived here.


Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage featuring past, present or forthcoming projects, research, texts, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.

→ RELATED CONTENTS:


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