Proteus Gowanus » eben kirksey An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Join Us for the Frog Fungus Survey Tue, 10 Jul 2012 17:49:57 +0000 Saturday, July 14th, 12-6 pm

In the 20th century the frog Xenopus laevis was widely used as a pregnancy test. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, Xenopus can carry – without harm to itself – the chytrid fungus, which is deadly to most frogs.  Shortly after Typhoid Mary spread disease among the people of New York, Xenopus started spreading chytrid around the world, killing most frogs on contact and resulting in the extinction of a number of amphibian species in the wild.  Right now about 3,900 amphibians, over half of all species known to science, are endangered.  Help us discover if Xenopus is still spreading chytrid around New York City.  Please visit your local pet shop and buy a Xenopus frog!  New York City pet stores sell them cheap, sometimes under the name “Underwater Frog”, or “African Clawed Frog”.  

albino Xenopus









Choose the color you’d like—white albinos and speckled brown frogs are both available.  Write down the phone number and address of your local store. Then bring the frog(s) to Proteus on Saturday, July 14th between 12 and 6pm.  We’ll test to see if your frog has the fungus, and show you how to cure your new friend if he or she is a carrier.  This crowd-sourced research project will be part of an academic study.  All participants are potential coauthors of a paper that will be submitted for publication.


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Year-End Exhibition by Our Migration Residents Fri, 29 Jun 2012 21:01:48 +0000 Friday, July 6, 7pm
Free Wine and Conversation

Starting this past fall with the opening of our Migration year, Proteus Gowanus launched an onsite Artist-In-Residence program. We invited three individuals (two artists, one anthropologist) to produce work corresponding to our three Migration exhibitions. As the summary event of our yearlong Migration exploration, we invite you to join us for the opening reception of the Migration Residents Exhibition.

Lado Pochkhua opened the Migration year with a project using documentary photographs he took with an old camera and expired film he bought for pennies in a flea market in Tbilisi, Georgia. He moved to Tbilisi as a “displaced person” in 1993, escaping the civil war in his native Abkhazia. For the next ten years, he resided in a refugee settlement with other Abkhazians. “The old FED camera and film were sufficiently reliable equipment for what I wanted to do – become an observer, not just a participant, in refugee life.” Lado will exhibit the photos as a light box installation — small beacons of memory.

Our second resident was Sal Randolph, who makes art involving gift economies, social interaction and public spaces. She established the Bureau of Unknown Destinations at Proteus, inviting visitors to take home BUD packets containing instructions and a ticket to an unknown destination. The packets included a notebook to jot down thoughts and observations during their journeys. Sal will exhibit the delightful and various notebooks made by the BUD travelers.

Our final resident is anthropologist Eben Kirksey, who has hosted members of the Multispecies Salon during his stay at Proteus Gowanus while also developing the Utopia for the Golden Frog, an environment created from a discarded refrigerator for the Golden Frog, found today only is zoos. The Golden Frog’s extinction in the wild is believed to result from the widespread laboratory use of another frog, Xenopus laevia, which spread a fungus deadly to amphibians worldwide and which will be on exhibit at the gallery. Eben’s work as a biocultural anthropologist asks who benefits when species meet?

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Hope In Blasted Landscapes Sun, 06 May 2012 00:16:30 +0000 Sunday, May 6, 5pm

On Sunday, join the Multispecies Salon host, anthropologist Eben Kirksey, for the second in our three-part discussion series exploring what happens when the natural and the human-generated meet. This question hovers over the Future Migration exhibition currently on view at Proteus Gowanus and, in this next session, Eben invites consideration of a central question:

“In the aftermath of disasters—in blasted landscapes that have been transformed by multiple catastrophes—what are the possibilities of biocultural hope?”

The Multispecies Salon, a resident project hosted by Eben at Proteus this Spring, has been a site where thinkers and tinkerers—culture workers who are deeply implicated in sweeping political, economic, and ecological transformations—have cautiously explored future horizons in the wake of recent disasters. We will discuss artworks in the exhibit that ground imaginings about elusive futures in actual biocultural becomings.

Printed copies of Eben Kirksey’s freshly written essay, “Hope in Blasted Landscapes”, will be distributed at the event.

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Multispecies Salon Conversation Series Sun, 22 Apr 2012 17:03:58 +0000 Sunday, April 29, 5pm
Please RSVP, space limited

Conversation #1: The Multispecies Salon: Gleanings from a Para-Site 

This event will be the first in a series of three conversations hosted by Eben Kirksey, Proteus Gowanus Anthropologist-In-Residence, of The Multispecies Salon. The conversations will orbit around three interrelated questions:

Which species flourish, and which fail, when natural and cultural worlds intermingle and collide? What happens when the bodies of organisms, and even entire ecosystems, are brought into schemes of biotechnology and dreams of biocapitalism? And finally in the aftermath of disasters—in blasted landscapes that have been transformed by multiple catastrophes—what are the possibilities of biocultural hope?

A series of essays, works in progress by Eben Kirksey, will be precirculated in advance to ground these conversations.

Sunday, April 29th, 5-6:30: “Multispecies Salon: Gleanings from a Para-Site” (10 pp)
Sunday, May 6, 5-6:30: “Hope in Blasted Landscapes” (30 pp)
Sunday, May 13, 5-6:30: “Life in the Age of Biotechnology” (30 pp)

Please RSVP for to secure a spot in the discussion and copies of the
essays.  Space is limited.


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Opening Reception for Future Migration Thu, 05 Apr 2012 17:29:54 +0000 Saturday, April 14, 7pm

Join us for the opening reception of the third exhibition of the Migration year: FUTURE MIGRATION, an exploration of the possibilities and predicaments of life in the anthropocene future.  Proteus Gowanus brings together artists, scientists, and visionaries in an exhibition of art, artifacts, and books, as well as talks, film and other events that consider where we are headed in our continual migrations toward the unknown. What sorts of resources will be preserved or invented to allow life on this planet to continue? Will Earth always be home or will we look out into the galaxy to find new and alternative solutions in the stars? Will we continue to exist as natural beings or will our technologies lead us to a new definition of what it means to be human?

Artist Krista Dragomer is co-curator of the  exhibition.

Bryan M Wilson, Monument to the Future

Participants include: Indrani AsheScott Billings, Kevin Clement, Elizabeth CopeDonald Daedalus, Eymund Diegel, Krista Dragomer and Rashin FahandejSarah EdkinsDavid Eustace, Peter Fend, Rebecca Heritage, Rita London,  Beatrice Marovich, Elisabeth Pellathy, Eric Pettiti, Deanna Pindell, Debra Tillinger, Emily Tobey, Barbara WestermannBryan Wilson, Sen-I Yu.

Concurrently, for our third residency of the Migration year, we are delighted to welcome, as Anthropologist-In-Residence Eben Kirksey and his collaborators with the Multi-Species Salon. They will work in text, conversation and installation, with media ranging from wool fiber to amphibians to moss–questioning human entanglement with plants, microbes, and animals and to develop art/projects intended to help us think about living with and in a multispecies worlds. Their particular concern is finding hope in Blasted Landscapes.

In addition, as part of Future Migration, we welcome THE FOOL’S JOURNEY, a corollary exhibition on our shelves curated by our friends from Curious Matter in Jersey City, NJ. In the Tarot, The Fool symbolizes the beginning of a journey. He sets off to explore without knowing what lies ahead. He isn’t a fool in the sense of a buffoon, rather one who proceeds on an adventure in spite of his lack of experience. To confront the unknown; the accumulation of knowledge; transformation from ignorance to wisdom; moving from one place to another, whether physical or psychical, are aspects of The Fool’s Journey.

Artists participating in The Fool’s Journey at  Proteus include: Fanny Allié, Lasse Antonsen, Louise Barry, Angela S. Beallor, Joseph Cavalieri, Gail Goldsmith, Ian Addison Hall, Joe Lugara, Marianne McCarthy, Anatoli Savov Monov, R. Wayne Parsons, Sarah Gl Sharp, Melissa A. Stern, Claire Watson, Katarina Wong.

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