October 10, 2008–November 8, 2008
Schroeder Romero is pleased to announce Future Darwinist a collaborative show by Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth inspired by modern science, natural history and the Age of Exploration.
Future Darwinist is a multimedia installation dedicated to humanity's desire to break free from the tethers of Darwin's Laws. Modeled on a scholar's salon that has been projected into the near future,Future Darwinist synthesizes the potential of modern science with the aesthetics of the Age of Discovery. It was a time of unbridled enthusiasm for scientific thought and folly, when discovery and theory progressed by leaps and bounds as overeager collectors wiped out entire species in order to fill their collection cabinets.
No longer satisfied to work within the bounds of natural selection, the Future Darwinist strives to overcome the restrictions of evolution. His walls are lined with the skulls of companion animals whose physiologies have been altered to please his aesthetic demands. He is surrounded by examples of his own interventions into natural selection, whether through examination of animals bred for food or with small suits designed for pigeons to disguise them as extinct birds, visually returning biodiversity lost through his own folly.
In his library, illuminated portraits of pharmacists and medical marijuana purveyors preside over landscapes of the post-Darwinian mental terrain, where one's mental state is determined by psychopharmaceutical regimen instead of natural stimulus and genetics. In the living area, a colorful kinetic mobile of the Ritalin molecule soothes the Future Darwinist's child. The room is decorated with a tribute to man's control over the reproductive cycle and fertility in the form of a crocheted quilt of embroidered panty-liners. Illuminating the room is a chandelier sparkling with syringes and garlands of crystal and pills, illustrating the danger and allure of this newfound ability of the Future Darwinist to effect and control ever-expanding areas of body and mind.
A centerpiece of the Future Darwinist study is an 8.5' x 6.5' woven Jacquard tapestry dedicated to the turning point of evolutionary forces from Darwinian Natural Selection to human-centric evolution. The tapestry, titled "Allegory of the Monoceros," weaves a tale of medicine, discovery and evolution through the ages. Utilizing traditional textile design and botanical illustration and woven on a computer-controlled jacquard loom in Belgium, the technology used to create the tapestry spans the age of computers from 19th century punch card to current CNC machinery. In the tapestry, a Cerberus made up of the first cloned dog fused with his genetic and birth parents sits guard at the base of an apple tree whose branch structure is based on Darwin's first sketch of his "Tree of Life". The tapestry is a tribute to the new forms of life being created and the species that lose their place in the new order.
Evolution did not end with Darwin's popularizing of his theory; the impact of man on his environment is now more than ever pervasive and all encompassing. Never before has man had greater power and responsibility over life on earth.
Andy Diaz Hope & Laurel Roth's Trinity, a group of three chandeliers, is currently on view in the exhibition Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.