Cosmosis investigates how the cosmos and the scientific fields of physics and cosmology continue to inspire artistic production, exerting great influence on our understanding of the universe and our place therein.

The exhibition brings together a group of artists whose interest in the cultural significance of the cosmos leads in multiple directions, intersecting with the fields of aesthetics, anthropology, philosophy, and others grounded in different art-making strategies and material explorations. After all, scientific developments and breakthroughs inevitably have great cultural relevance and ramifications, often contributing to our sense of identity and role both as individuals and collectively within society. As is often the case: to look outward and beyond is also to look inward.

  • May 3, 2015 – August 20, 2015
  • Kanter McCormick Gallery


Featured Artists

Daniel Baird, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Erica Bohm, Jeremy Bolen, Dana Carter, Joseph Cruz, Carrie Gundersdorf, Jason Lazarus, New Catalogue, Trevor Paglen, Jefferson Pinder, Nicholas Sagan, and Erin Washington.

The exhibition grows forth from two observations: first, the current moment of space exploration and scientific discovery is unparalleled in history, and thus continues to greatly influence and shape contemporary culture; and second, that many artists working today, particularly in Chicago, are actively interpreting and reinterpreting the cultural significance of these developments. Taking cue from well-known physicist and cultural icon Carl Sagan, the exhibition also intends to create a space for open discussion and access to the ideas and methodologies contained therein, both artistic and scientific. As Sagan has suggested, “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

For more information on Cosmosis, please visit the live archive developed by graduate students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Stephen L. Bridges

Steven L. Bridges is Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Most recently he curated a solo exhibition of the work of Chicago-based artist Jason Lazarus at the MCA, which traveled to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Upcoming at the MCA, he is organizing a solo exhibition of the work of Faheem Majeed, and assisting the major retrospective exhibition of the work of renowned sculptor Doris Salcedo. Bridges is also co-curator of the annual Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival in Chicago, and in 2012 co-curated the MFA thesis exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His writings have been published in numerous journals, including Art & the Public Sphere, the Live Arts Almanac, Dispatch, and Art & Education Papers.

About the Contemporary Arts Council

Cosmosis was selected by and presented in partnership with the Contemporary Arts Council (CAC). The CAC is an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by art enthusiasts devoted to supporting Chicago-area contemporary art and artists, and expanding members’ appreciation of the diversity of Chicago’s arts scene. The CAC’s mission is to support, learn about and enjoy the Chicago-area art scene with an interesting group of like-minded art enthusiasts, including artists, collectors and business and professional people of all types.


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