Curator Tour: The Microbial, Fungal, and Chemical

October 27, 2022
Event Types
Exhibition Tour
Public Program
Installation view of a blush toned sculpture with resin-coated tube-like shapes that form rectangles and intersect with one another. Four glass blob-shaped sculptures hang along the tubing.

Jes Fan, Systems II, 2018. Installation view: Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, 2022. Collection Carlos Marsano. Photo: Dario Lasagni


Caroline A. Jones

Join List Center Exhibition Curator, Caroline A. Jones for a walk through of Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere.

This group exhibition brings together over a dozen international artists whose work prompts us to reexamine our relationship to the planet’s biosphere through the lens of symbiosis, or ‘with living.’ This tour will feature a selection of works that consider the meanings and usages of microbial organisms, fungal agents, and chemical fermentation processes as artistic materials. 

About the Curator

Caroline A. Jones is Professor in the History, Theory, Criticism section of the Department of Architecture, also serving as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT. She studies modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on its technological modes of production, distribution, and reception, and on its interface with sciencessuch as physics, neuroscience, and biology. Her essays on modern and contemporary art have appeared in journals ranging from Artforum to Critical Inquiry to Science in Context; she is solo author of several books and exhibition catalogues, and a co-editor of volumes that examine technology and the senses, art and neuroscience, and art history and history of science as parallel inquiries. Collaborative work with historian of science and physicist Peter L. Galison will culminate in a book on scientific and viral images of environmental harm, titled Invisibilities: Seeing and Unseeing the Anthropocene (forthcoming with Zone Books at Princeton University press). Her research has been supported with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Institute for Advanced Studies, the Radcliffe Institute, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Max Planck Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, and other foundations interested in interdisciplinary inquiry emerging from art history.  Jones was part of the curatorial team for Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere, accompanied by a publication from MIT Press, October 2022.

We will continue to follow MIT’s COVID protocols.