Synapse Lecture: Rachel Sussman
Free and open to all
Rachel Sussman is a contemporary artist based in Brooklyn. Her critically acclaimed, decade-long project The Oldest Living Things in the World combines art, science and philosophy into a traveling exhibition and New York Times bestselling book. After conducting research and consulting with biologists, the artist traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older. Sussman’s series Sidewalk Kintsukuroi expands the traditional Japanese art of kintsukuroi—the practice of repairing cracks in ceramics by filling them with gold—by taking it, literally, out into the streets. In 2014, she began developing new installation work deepening her explorations of personal and cosmic time, the universe, nature, philosophy, and beauty.
Sussman is a Guggenheim, NYFA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow, and two-time TED speaker. She is currently an artist in residence with the SETI Institute. Her exhibition record spans more than a decade in museums and galleries in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. With the support of the LACMA Lab, and working with SpaceX, NASA, and CERN, and her new work can be found at MASS MoCA, the New Museum Los Gatos, and the Des Moines Art Center.
Photographs from Sussman’s Sidewalk Kintsukuroi series are on view at the Akron Art Museum as part of the exhibition Alchemy: Transformations in Gold, Oct. 7, 2017 – Jan. 21, 2018. In early November, Sussman will install a Sidewalk Kintsukuroi in the museum’s lobby by filling a crack in the concrete with gold.
image 1: Rachel Sussman, Study for Sidewalk Kintsukuroi #11 (Toluca Lake, California), 2017, enamel and metallic dust on archival pigment print, 8 1/2 x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist. image 2: Rachel Sussman, Welwitchia mirabilis #0707-22411 (2,000 years old, Namib Naukluft Desert, Namibia), courtesy of the artist.
The Synapse series explores enlightened collaborations between art and science. This initiative at The University of Akron probes the ideas, images, and mutual interests connecting art and science professionals and disciplines. The Synapse series is funded through the generous support of the Knight Foundation.