ELAINE GAN is interested in mapping worlds otherwise. Her interdisciplinary practice combines methods from art, science, and environmental humanities to study the timing and temporal logic of more-than-human socialities. Through writing, sketching, interactive web, and installation, Gan makes time machines to explore historical materialisms and coordinations that emerge between species, landscapes, and machines, with a particular interest in plant life.
Current interdisciplinary projects include co-curating an artscience exhibition, DUMP! Multispecies Making and Unmaking (2015, Kunsthal Aarhus); researching multispecies histories and temporalities that emerge around the cultivation of rice and fungi; and co-editing an anthology, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Stories from the Anthropocene (UMP, 2017).
Gan is art director of Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA) and a fellow in Architecture & Environmental Structures of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
An exhibition that brings together twenty research-driven practices from the arts and sciences to consider multispecies life and death in the Anthropocene. Co-curated with Steven Lam and Sarah Lookofsky. (Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark)
An installation about relationships between fungi and pine trees that bring continuity and change, histories and landscapes. Based on ongoing collaborative research at a postmining area in Søby Brunkulslejerne. (Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark)
An installation that experiments with four modes of temporal entanglement. The cultivation of different rice varieties over 2,000 years is represented through unfolding events, durations, and inheritances. (UCSC; HMKV Germany; SLSA)
Speculative timepieces or chronometers that render sensible transformations and potential synchronies of matter. Collaboration with artist-programmer Nik Hanselmann. (UCSC Digital Arts Research Center)
Collaboration with anthropologist Anna Tsing to create a browser-based clock that follows the multispecies temporalities through which matsutake mushrooms come alive in Japanese woodlands. (American Anthropological Association)
Collaboration with anthropologist Anna Tsing: two-channel synchronized video installation to animate the movements of multispecies bodies (human and fungal) through a satoyama forest landscape in Japan. (Univ of Sydney)
Two-channel video about speculative futures. One presents a promotional video by NASA-CISCO. The other presents footage of slums in the Philippines. For whom are "global solutions" proposed? (Spaces, OH)
Earth transforms into a fully armored battle station in this remix of nonfictional NASA images and science fictional renderings of the Death Star.
Assemblage of prints maps a mountain province in Northern Luzon as dynamic multispecies constellation: animals, insects, plants, land, water, wind, rice seeds and local-urban-global mobilities. (Real Art Ways, CT)
Digital montages composited from image and film fragments form an allegory about asynchronous and aleatory encounters. (Shifter ejournal)
Web-sourced images are resampled and montaged as a form of cognitive mapping. The world is pictured vertically, from satellite space to subsurface extraction. (Toronto Free, ONT)
An installation that considers the Modern Olympiad and its host cities as historical constructions of a globalized culture industry. (Soap Factory, MN)
Two facing walls present different worldviews. Left: prints graphically narrate uneven and sclerotic impact of globalized flows. Right: single print of NASA's "Earth Rise", 1968. (Artists Space, NYC)
Public performance that questions the transformations of collective space after 9/11. Two uniformed equestrians circle a 300-year-old fence that encloses NY's first public park. (LMCC/Bowling Green, NYC)
A 152-foot walkway is built into an unnamed alley. An attempt to reconstruct a marginal and leftover space into an open social platform. (under the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn)
While appearing fixed, aluminum scaffolds are designed to expand with each tree's growth. An attempt to consider human-nonhuman architectural forms. (Socrates, LIC)
Balloons marked with an "X" are given to pedestrians, who are encouraged to then pass them along, creating unmappable, unpredictable paths. (AiOP/Union Square, NYC)
Stanchions form a maze. Visitors create paths by interchanging red belts. Sociospatial control as a field for recomposition. (Sara Roosevelt Park, NYC)