Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, has announced its commission of a new site-specific work by New York artist Beth Campbell. Titled Spontaneous future(s), Possible past, the work is comprised of a mobile and a graphite drawing.
The piece, like many of Landmarks’ commissions, takes its theme from where it’s installed on UT’s campus. In this case, Ms. Campbell’s artwork, which will be installed in the university’s newly constructed Dell Medical School, is similar to the medical concept of spontaneous future cognition, which is (via Landmarks) “a newly developing branch of cognitive psychology that explores the random and involuntary thoughts that individuals have about their future.”
The graphite drawing component of the work, which is from Ms. Campbell’s ongoing series, My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances, presents possible outcomes — some logical and some absurd — of everyday situations. The work’s second component, a mobile made of steel rods and wires, mimics the forms of Ms. Campbell’s drawings, and also shares visual similarities with veins and nerves winding through the human body.
Andrée Bober, Landmarks’ director, commented on the organization’s selection of Ms. Campbell:
“Beth Campbell’s work delights the eye and stimulates the imagination. It simultaneously investigates and celebrates the human psyche, illuminating our commonalities, our differences, and the relationship between the two.”
Other Landmark pieces on view in the Dell Medical School include sculptures by Seymour Lipton and Marc Quinn, and an installation by artist Ann Hamilton. Spontaneous future(s), Possible past opens on April 11, 2019 at 5:30 with a conversation featuring Ms. Campbell and Timothy Morton of Rice University. The conversation will be hosted in the UT Art building auditorium.