More Than 50 Southern California Organizations Reveal Exhibition Plans for the Next Edition of Pacific Standard Time Art & Science Collide, Opening September 2024.
Getty support for initiative rises to $17 million in grants. PST Art to become a destination event every five years.
LOS ANGELES – Katherine E. Fleming, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, today joined more than 50 partner organizations to reveal the mind-expanding exhibitions they will present in the next Pacific Standard Time, Art & Science Collide, opening in September 2024. Grants from Getty for the latest edition now total $17 million, with more organizations to be added as the collaboration grows. Getty also announced plans to make the landmark regional collaboration a regularly scheduled series on a five-year cycle under a new name, PST Art.
“When I arrived in Southern California I was struck by the enthusiasm and pride the community had for PST, and when I traveled abroad, it was the Getty initiative everyone referenced as cementing Los Angeles’s place as one of the global cultural capitals of the 21st century,” Fleming says. “I am proud to announce today that Getty is making a commitment to continue these large-scale, interdisciplinary collaborations that produce new knowledge and engage broad audiences on a regular basis.”
In two previous editions over the past 12 years, Pacific Standard Time brought together museums and cultural organizations across Southern California to delve into topics too ambitious for any single institution to tackle alone—from rewriting the history of post-World War II American art to forging a hemispheric conversation about Latin American and Latinx art. Getty’s new commitment will make PST Art’s research-driven collaborations a destination event for audiences every five years.
“The exhibitions in this new edition of PST Art boldly go beyond the expected, sparking a fundamental shift in how we see the possibilities of both art and science,” says Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation, who has stewarded all PST Art collaborations to date. “The questions that more than 50 partner organizations are posing in their exhibitions are crucial for our very future. What can artists and scientists do in collaboration to overcome ecological damage and imagine a more sustainable future? What does the history of Southern California’s aerospace industry tell us about the movies, and about current structures of surveillance and control? How have scientists visualized the natural world, and how do artists now envision once-unthinkable scientific developments? With Art & Science Collide, PST Art is again venturing into new territory and revealing the unexpected.”
Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, says, “It is fitting that the Natural History Museum is the place for kicking off this celebration of the interplay between art and science, a connection we deeply value. We are proud to be presenting two exhibitions in this next PST Art—one at NHM and one at La Brea Tar Pits—both with artistic and scientific throughlines for understanding the past and considering the ecological future.
This edition of PST Art will be the most far-reaching to date, bringing together cultural, educational, and scientific institutions large and small—throughout Los Angeles and from San Diego to Palm Springs—to offer a global panorama of the interplay between art and science, past and present. The exhibition topics range from biotechnology to sustainable agriculture, and from ancient cosmologies to Indigenous sci-fi. Many exhibitions propose creative, real-world solutions to current issues such as climate change, environmental justice, and artificial intelligence.
Cannupa Hanska Luger, a cross-disciplinary artist whose work will be featured in exhibitions at both the Autry Museum of the American West and the Hammer Museum, says, “From my Indigenous perspective, we’re three to four generations into an apocalypse and trying to navigate through darkness toward a future where we can thrive. I think of the artwork I’m showing in Art & Science Collide as a kind of technology that values reverence for the land we belong to, rather than privileging extraction from a land that we mistakenly believe belongs to us.”
The collaborating institutions in Art & Science Collide include civic institutions such as LACMA, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, and the San Diego Museum of Art; museums such as The Broad and MOCA; academic institutions including the California Institute of Technology and SCI-Arc; university-affiliated museums and galleries such as the Hammer Museum at UCLA and UCR Arts at UC Riverside; organizations working at the convergence of contemporary art, science, and education including Fathomers and the Beall Center for Art + Technology at UC Irvine; and world-renowned scientific institutions, such as Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
E. C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory, says, “Science and art are both in the business of discovery and perspective, but because they are not generally mentioned in the same breath, their contact almost inevitably generates surprise and wonder. In this artful engineering of the unexpected, PST Art is certain to lift the shades on the windows of perception. As we deliver the cosmos to visitors at the Observatory, Los Angeles’s linchpin between earth and sky, we hope to propel them to the rest of the PST Art universe, where there is no limit to the excitement and discovery we can spark.”
PST Art will also introduce Community Hubs, providing expanded opportunities for community-based organizations to get involved in PST Art and the conversations it might prompt. Leading the Community Hubs are LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, LA Commons, and the Lancaster Museum of Art and History: organizations that serve diverse populations across Los Angeles County from Antelope Valley and the Mojave Desert to East LA and South LA, as well as the neighborhoods of LA’s historic core. Each of the three lead organizations will use its own time-tested strategies to engage grass-roots organizations and young creatives in its area, including local environmental action groups, community science organizations, STEAM educators, artist collectives, and public agencies.
Since Getty announced its initial round of grants for Art & Science Collide in 2021, teams of curators, scientists, artists, and others have spent more than two years immersed in research for their exhibitions and programs. Some have commissioned artists to create new works or have developed immersive displays. The total number of artists represented now stands at more than 800 and is likely to increase.
Among the figures represented by, or participating in, PST Art are innovators from George Washington Carver to Carolina Caycedo whose work interrogates both art and science, as well as scientists who use the materials and practices of artists in advanced research.
Caltech physicist Barry Barish, a Nobel Prize winner who contributed research toward the exhibition Fred Eversley at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, says, “Art historians have long recognized Eversley as a major figure in Southern California’s Light and Space movement. What hasn’t been studied enough is his career in aerospace engineering, at places including NASA. Thanks to PST Art, we’re showing for the first time just how much real science went into Eversley’s sculptures.”
The vast range of artistic media to be considered in Art & Science Collide includes ancient Aboriginal drawings from Australia, Mesoamerican vessels and textiles, medieval Islamic illustrated books, Chinese hanging scrolls, 19th-century British Romantic paintings, mid-20th-century US abstract paintings and sculpture, computer-based art from 1960s and 1970s South America, contemporary installations and cross-disciplinary art, and a host of videos and films.
Jacqueline Stewart, director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, says, “Cinema is the ultimate marriage of art and science, a still-evolving extension of older forms of visual storytelling made possible by continual technical breakthroughs. In our two contributions to PST Art, we examine both sides of the equation, looking at the evolution of key technologies in Color in Motion and at the way film artists envision possible futures in Cyberpunk.”
Thematic Exhibition Overview of PST Art: Art & Science Collide
A sample list of exhibitions follows. A complete list of partner institutions and their exhibitions may be found here.
Among the themes being developed in the new PST Art, and the exhibitions that explore them, are:
The Body: Site, Image, Possibility: Fathomers, Emergence: A Genealogy: an exploration of the inner and outer biological landscapes of the future human, presented at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center; ICA LA, Scientia Sexualis: a survey of contemporary artists whose work confronts, dissolves, and reimagines sex and gender within the scientific apparatus; and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Medical Condition: Art, Sickness and Survival: a look at art practices that contend with the impact of medicine and technology on our conceptions of the self and the body.
Ecology and Environmental Justice: California African American Museum, World Without End: The George Washington Carver Project: an examination of the impact of George Washington Carver on contemporary art and environmental science; Hammer Museum, Breath(e): Towards Climate and Social Justice: an exhibition of the work of contemporary artists, scientists, and activists focusing on the lungs of our planet—oceans, atmosphere, and forests—including tangible contributions toward their protection; Museum of Contemporary Art, Olafur Eliasson: an invitation to consider the climate crisis through immersive experiences, including a newly commissioned, large-scale installation and a survey of Eliasson’s attention to climate issues over his 30-year career; Self Help Graphics & Art, Sinks: Places We Call Home, presented at the Luckman Gallery, Cal State LA: a project examining the impact of toxic manufacturing sites on communities near Self-Help Graphics, including works emerging from a collaboration between artist-scientist Maru García and scientists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Picturing Science: California Institute of Technology, Crossing Over: Caltech and Visual Culture, 1920–2020: a retrospective of the last 100 years of Caltech as a site for scientific and artistic image production, and through it the visual culture of scientific institutions; Palm Springs Art Museum, Particles and Waves: Southern California Abstraction and Science, 1945 to 1990: an examination of how concepts and technologies from advanced scientific research impacted the development of abstract or non-figurative art in postwar Southern California; UCR ARTS at UC Riverside, Digital Capture: Southern California and the Origins of the Pixel-Based Image World: an exhibition tracing the history of today’s digital imaging back to the Southern California research laboratories of the Cold War and the 1960s Space Race.
Global Cultures: Getty, Lumen: The Art & Science of Light: a major exhibition demonstrating how the study of light, vision, and the movement of the heavens were explored by Christian, Jewish, and Muslim theologians to understand the sacred during the “Long Middle Ages” (c. 800–1600); The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 奪天工 Growing and Knowing in the Gardens of China: an exhibition focusing on the gardens of China’s early modern literati, where scholars hybridized plants, domesticated wild flora, cultivated herbal medicines, and gained an understanding of themselves and their place in the universe; Mingei International Museum, Blue Gold: The Art and Science of Indigo: a look at the history and possible future of a plant with roots going back 6,000 years in Peru and 4,500 years in Egypt, exploring its universal appeal as a dyestuff and pigment.
Visions of the Future: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Cyberpunk: Envisioning Possible Futures: an experiential exhibition and programming series examining the global impact and lasting influence of Cyberpunk on cinema culture; Autry Museum of the American West, Indigenous Futures, or How to Survive and Thrive After the Apocalypse: an experimental installation of the work of Indigenous artists who have taken up aspects of science fiction, often combined with digital media, performance, and traditional knowledge systems; ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, Sexual Science and the Imagi-nation: a consideration of the overlooked importance of science fiction fandom and the occult to US queer history, presented at the USC Fisher Museum of Art.
The Skies and the Cosmos: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cosmologies: an exploration of the breadth of cosmologies, including astrology and astronomy, across cultures and time through a selection of around 100 sculptures, manuscripts, photographs, astronomical instruments; The Griffith Observatory Foundation will extend this exploration of cosmologies with a 23-minute digital film Pacific Standard Universe; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Brand Library & Art Center, The Stars Are Calling: Objects of Connectedness and Interplanetary Discovery: an exhibition of existing and newly created artworks, presented as “objects from the future,” which ask how our exploration of the cosmos may shape new kinds of relationships between humans and robots.
Technologies of Seeing and Control: Center for Land Use Interpretation, Remote Sensing: Explorations into the Art of Detection: an investigation of aesthetic and cultural responses to remote sensing technologies, developed by the Los Angeles aerospace industry and now inescapable presences in daily life; OXY ARTS, Invisibility: Powers and Perils: a presentation of the work of artists, scientists, and activists who are rendering visible the people, histories, and planetary conditions that have been erased within the cultural mainstream and are restoring the power of privacy and invisibility to those who have been denied it; The Wende Museum, Surveillance and Countersurveillance: Control, Privacy, Agency: a history of present-day biometric technologies such as facial recognition going back to the Cold War, and a survey of artistic responses to surveillance, celebrating the ability of people to connect “under the radar.”
Claiming Tomorrow: Library Foundation of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Public Library, No Prior Art: a celebration of invention as a key feature of both scientific and artistic advances, featuring an exhibition of works by more than a dozen artists and inventors including Mixografia (an art studio that invented a three-dimensional printmaking process), trans artist Pippa Garner (whose inventions explore the body and critique capitalist consumerism), and the KAOS Network, a community-based Afro-futurist innovation lab founded by Ben Caldwell; REDCAT, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace: proposals for reclaiming the emancipatory potential of artificial intelligence, as seen through a broad range of multidisciplinary art forms reflecting BIPOC, feminist, non-western, and non-binary systems of thought; SCI-Arc, Views of Planet City: a radically optimistic vision of the future, in which the most audacious scientific and technological advances of our time are used to reverse human encroachments onto nature and enable all of the world’s 8 billion people to live in one sustainable hyperdense city.
About PST Art
Southern California’s landmark arts event, Pacific Standard Time, returns in September 2024 with more than 50 exhibitions from museums and other institutions across the region, all exploring the intersections of art and science, both past and present. Dozens of cultural, scientific, and community organizations will join the latest edition, PST Art: Art & Science Collide, with exhibitions on subjects ranging from ancient cosmologies to Indigenous sci-fi, and from environmental justice to artificial intelligence. Art & Science Collide will share groundbreaking research, create indelible experiences for the public, and generate new ways of understanding our complex world. Art & Science Collide follows Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (September 2017–January 2018), which presented a paradigm-shifting examination of Latin American and Latinx art, and Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980 (October 2011–March 2012), which rewrote the history of the birth and impact of the LA art scene. PST Art is a Getty initiative. For more information about PST Art: Art & Science Collide, please visit: pst.art