Paired with engineers and researchers in AI and biology labs associated with TofTH working groups, the ten fellows will produce artworks that explore the contemporary transformation of the human for exhibitions, catalogues, installations, and/or performative events. The inaugural cohort of TofTH Artist Fellows includes Nancy Baker Cahill, founder and creative director of 4th Wall, a free Augmented Reality (AR) public art platform for exploring resistance and inclusive creative expression; Ian Cheng, who is known for simulations such as BOB (Bag of Beliefs), an AI creature whose body, personality, and story evolves across exhibitions; Stephanie Dinkins, a transdisciplinary artist who is focused on creating platforms for ongoing dialogue about AI as it intersects race, gender, aging, and our future histories; Mara Eagle, whose work explores the ways in which Western philosophy and science have formulated a concept of nature that is amenable to industrialization and exploitation; and Pierre Huyghe, a French artist based in New York City whose "constructed organisms" not only combine biological, technological, and fictional elements but produce an immersive, constantly changing environment.
The other TofTH fellows are Kahlil Joseph, a Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker whose most recent work, BLKNWS, is a two-channel fugitive newscast that blurs the lines between art, journalism, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique; Agnieszka Kurant, a Polish-born conceptual artist who explores how complex social, economic, and ecological systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction/reality and nature/culture; Rob Reynolds, a Los Angeles-based American painter and conceptual artist who is working on a project titled Icebergs and the Human; Martine Syms, who uses video and performance to examine representations of blackness; and Anicka Yi, a conceptual artist whose work fuses multi-sensory experience with synthetic and evolutionary biology to form lush bio-fictional landscapes.
"We look forward to the ways the artist fellows will expand our understanding of how our definition of humanity is changing," Berggruen Institute founder and chair Nicolas Berggruen told Art Newspaper. "It is also a great pleasure to elevate the role of the arts at the Berggruen Institute by commissioning them to make the first works in our envisioned art collection."