Agnieszka Kurant

Agnieszka Kurant’s The End of Signature explores the rising power of social capital, the aggregated value of which can be algorithmically calculated. This work series is rooted in Kurant’s longtime investigation of collective intelligence in nature and culture. The artist analyzes communities, social movements and societies as super-organisms or collective persons with personality traits and develops collective signatures for them.

The work addresses the replacement of individual authorship by hybrid, collective forms and the decline of handwriting and turn to digital modes of communication.  To make this work, Kurant collected signatures from all the Cleveland Museum of Art’s employees and trustees that she later aggregated into a single inscription using software that she developed with a computer programmer. The piece is presented as a neon sign on the east wing façade of CMA. The latest iteration of her ongoing series, this work represents the collective identity of the many individuals and stakeholders who make up the CMA’s complex structure.


Artist Biography

Conceptual interdisciplinary artist Agnieszka Kurant explores how complex social, economic and cultural systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction and reality or nature and culture. She investigates “the economy of the invisible,” in which immaterial and imaginary entities, fictions, phantoms and emergent processes influence political and economic systems. Kurant probes the “unknown unknowns” of knowledge and the speculations and exploits of capitalism by integrating elements of science and philosophy, and analyzing certain phenomena—collective intelligence, emergence, virtual capital, immaterial and digital labor, evolution of memes, civilizations and social movements, artificial societies, energy circuits and the editing process—as political acts. She explores the hybrid and shifting status of objects in relation to value, aura, authorship, production and circulation. Many of her works emulate nature and behave like living organisms, self-organized complex systems or bachelor machines. 

Currently, Agnieszka is the artist-in-residence at MIT’s CAST (Center for Art and Science Technologies). Her new solo exhibition at SCAD Museum of Art entitled Collective Intelligence will be on view through January 14, 2018. The press release for this exhibition is below. Work from her recent solo exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv has travelled to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Tel Aviv. She is also included in a group exhibition at Bonner Kunstverein in Germany and recently at HIAP Augusta Gallery in Helsinki. Upcoming in November, her work will be on view in a group exhibition at Deichtorhallen Hamburg / Sammlung Falkenberg, at Le Centre d’art contemporain La Panacée, Montpellier, France, and at Kayu Lucie Fontaine in Bali, Indonesia. In December, new and existing work will be featured in a dedicated room at the Guggenheim Bilbao as part of their major upcoming “Art and Space” exhibition, on view through April 2018. She will also have new work commissioned for the forthcoming inaugural edition of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.