nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape

nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape

cento: whitney museum’s first collective ar intervention

 

A monumental digital hybrid creature takes flight over New York’s Meatpacking District as part of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s recent commission by new media artist, Nancy Baker Cahill. As the Museum’s first participatory and collectively built augmented reality (AR) art intervention, CENTO invites visitors to the museum’s many terraces to observe the soaring chimeric creature via the artist’s 4th Wall app. Inviting collaboration to virtually foster its evolutionary development, the project embraces an ecosophical perspective that challenges the conventional divide between humans and the natural world, tackling the imperative for cross-species collaboration in confronting the climate crisis. 

nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape
all images courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

 

 

nancy baker cahill’s chimeric creature metamorphoses

 

CENTO will accompany a video featured on the Whitney’s Museum of American Art’s artport website, a virtual exhibition space, that explores the creature’s imagined habitat. After watching the video, online and in-person viewers will be prompted to embellish the creature with AR feathers with distinct biological functions via the app, co-building an entity that grows stronger with each contribution. Its gradual metamorphosis underscores the necessity of collaborative action to challenge the climate crisis, and materializes species’ interdependence and entanglement.

 

Nancy Baker Cahill derive’s the initiative’s name from the term for a ‘collage poem’ comprising lines lifted from a selection of other poems, alluding to the creature’s hybrid body and the audience’s contributions. CENTO, the fictitious interspecies entity, features an amalgamation of a serpentine body lined with scales and mycelium, cephalopod legs, manta ray wings, and vibrant feathers. The chimeric creature draws attention to the care and cooperation needed to survive under changing conditions, pointing to the necessity of symbiotic co-existence in the face of the climate crisis’s existential challenges. With this project, the artist questions whether a creature imagined as a collage of humans, cephalopods, microbiomes, birds, fungi, fish, and machine fulfills or even exceeds basic evolutionary requirements.

nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape
Nancy Baker Cahill unveils CENTO

nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape
the digital hybrid creature takes flight over New York’s Meatpacking District

nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape
via the artist’s 4th Wall app, it invites collaboration to virtually foster its evolutionary development

nancy-baker-cahill-cento-whitney-museum-AR-designboom-8

nancy baker cahill's AR hybrid creature soars and evolves across new york's cityscape
viewers will be prompted to embellish the creature with AR feathers with distinct biological functions

cento
the creature is imagined as a collage of humans, cephalopods, microbiomes, birds, fungi, fish, and machine

cento
Nancy Baker Cahill tackles the imperative for cross-species collaboration in confronting the climate crisis

 

 

project info:

 

name: CENTO

artist: Nancy Baker Cahill

location: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

opening date: October 3, 2023

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