2018 Triennial Archive

Agnieszka Kurant

Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106
Tues, Thurs, Sat–Sun: 10–5, Wed, Fri: 10–9


The End of Signature

The End of Signature explores the rising power of social capital, the aggregated value of which can be algorithmically calculated. Kurant investigates the collective intelligence of communities, social movements, and societies acting as super-organisms with personality traits, and develops collective signatures for them. The work addresses the replacement of individual authorship by hybrid, collective forms, the decline of handwriting, and use of digital communication. For this work, Kurant gathered signatures from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s employees and trustees that she accumulated into a single inscription using software developed with a computer programmer.

Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Courtesy of the artist & Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Made possible with support by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Cleveland Museum of Art is supported in part by Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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.