anicka yi transforms tate modern into a fragrant ecosystem of floating machines

anicka yi transforms tate modern into a fragrant ecosystem of floating machines

anicka yi’s floating machines

 

tate modern unveils an ambitious work by artist anicka yi which transforms the museum’s turbine hall with a new ecosystem. in celebration of the heritage of the space, which had once housed the bankside power station tubines, the artwork populates the hall with machines once more — this time, they are pneumatic. dubbed ‘aerobes,’ the inflatable, floating machines propose a new type of industrial vision, a blend of technology and biology. the work speculates on the possibility of machines evolving into independent life forms.

 

titled ‘in love with the world,’ the commission is created by anicka yi in partnership with hyundai motor and will show from october 12th, 2021 — january 16th, 2022.

anicka yi tate
installation view of hyundai commission anicka yi at tate modern, october 2021 | © tate
image by will burrard lucas

 

 

biomorphic artificial intelligence

 

floating among the cavernous hall of the tate modern, anicka yi’s machines exist as two species, ‘xenojellies’ and ‘planulae.’ each species exhibits individual and group behaviors in response to different environmental factors within the museum. while the xenojellies take shape with semi-transparent bodies and uniquely colored tops and patterned tentacles, the planulae are bulbous and covered in short yellow hair. both are filled with helium and explore the space propelled by rotors and a small battery pack.

 

recalling the biological forms of fungi, or ocean life forms, the floating machines recall the ranging levels of complexity among organisms within an ecosystem. inspired by the diverse ways in which organisms learn through their bodies and senses, the artist proposes the work to imagine a new type of artificial intelligence. 

anicka yi tate
image by will burrard lucas

 

 

time-traveling through scent

 

with ‘in love with the world,’ anicka yi integrates her interest in scent and air. the artist has long explored the politics of air, and it’s been impacted by changing attitudes, inequalities, and ecological awareness. with this in mind, the artist makes use of scent as a medium to give a presence to air, which we all share and on which we all depend.

 

with this work at the tate modern, the space hosts a unique, transforming ‘scentscape’ which evokes different time periods in the history of bankside. at one point, visitors are transported to the 14th century with the smells of spices thought to counteract the black death. at another point, visitors will be transported to the precambrian era with the marine scents which existed long before human inhabited the earth. then, the smells of coal and ozone will recall the 20th century machine age. 

 

as the odors shift from one scentscape to another from one week to the next, so will the responsive behaviors and interactions of the floating aerobe machines.

anicka yi tate
image by will burrard lucas anicka yi transforms tate modern into a fragrant ecosystem of floating machines
image by ben fisher photography

anicka-yi-hyundai-in-love-with-the-world-tate-modern-designboom-05a

image by will burrard lucas

 

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image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys
image by joe humphrys

project info:

 

exhibition: in love with the world

artist: anicka yi | @anickayi_studio

location: tate modern

collaborator: hyundai motor

on view: october 12th, 2021 — january 16th, 2022

photography: © tate | will burrard lucas, ben fisher photography, joe humphrys

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