Carte du Ciel


Carte du Ciel
David Baumflek


June 20 - July 5, 2014
chashama 461 Gallery
461 West 126th Street
(between Amsterdam and Morningside)
New York, NY

Opening Reception: Friday, June 20th 5 - 8 pm
Gallery Hours: Thurs - Sat 12 - 6 pm;  Sundays 1 - 5 pm

Three screen video installation. Color with sound, 12 min,  2014.

In 1887, the director of the Paris Observatory convened an international conference to discuss the possibilities that photography had created for astronomical exploration.  The meeting ended with twenty of the world’s observatories agreeing to an ambitious project; the “Carte du Ciel” or map of the sky, a precise atlas of the heavens -- of everything in the known universe.  It was believed that the task would be completed in seven years.  The project was officially halted, unfinished, eighty years and several hundreds of thousands of negatives later.

This project explores the fascinating history of this failed attempt to map the edges of the human knowledge. The story of the “Carte du Ciel” touches on the pivotal issues of the 20th and 21st century -- from our relation to technology, the history of Colonialism, the mechanization of vision, World Wars, belief in science and the search to rationally contain the unknown. 

About the Artist:

Baumflek’s work crosses genres to investigate the complex roles that memory, emotion, technology and politics play in human perception. In addition to video, his practice includes sculpture, installation, sound and performance. In recent projects, he focuses on the intersections of technology and aesthetics to explore the mysteries of both.

Baumflek’s sculptural and performance work has been exhibited in venues such as Exit Art, Sculpture Center, Nurture Art, Cuchifritos and Art in General.  His video and sound work has been shown in festivals and art spaces including Anthology Archives (New York), VideoEx (Zurich), The Wilson Art Museum (UK), The Patarei Museum (Tallinn) Australian Experimental Film Festival (Melbourne), ATA festival (San Francisco) and others.  After receiving an MFA from Pratt Institute, Baumflek was a fellow in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in studio art.


Tags: gallery, exhibit, chashama 461, 461 W 126th St, visual art
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