Jamie Kruse: The Thingness of Energy

Artist Project Celebration Thu 2 Feb 2012 6.30PM - Tue 24 Apr 2012 12.00AM Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, lobby
Parsons The New School for Design
2 West 13th Street
Free admission
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Thingness of Energy is a mixed media art installation by Jamie Kruse, presented by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics (VLC) in the lobby of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, a glass-enclosed gallery opening onto Fifth Avenue. It serves as the physical and virtual hub for long-term discussions as well as temporary interactions, events, and happenings on The New Schools energy use and its economic, environmental, ethical, urban, and artistic implications.

With unprecedented access to the universitys infrastructure and support staff, Kruse has spent six months investigating the flow of energy through various New School buildings. The outcome of her research is a complex, intricate, and fragile assemblage of the physical components of energy. The installation is made up of the material conduits of energy—the pipes, wires, switch boxes, and tubes through which it flows—as well as samples of some of the energy sources themselves (fossil fuels and coal) in addition to maps and photographs. Mounted on the buildings membrane, i.e. its windows, the installation is visible from both the street and the buildings interior underscoring the correlation between producer of energy—the outside—to consumer of energy—the people in the building.

Energy materials and flows are often hidden in basements or invisibly channeled through pipes and wires. Thingness of Energy is a provocation to consider and directly experience the material realities of energy. Taking The New School's Climate Action Plan as its point of departure, the project reveals the deep geologic nature and effects of the materials we use to generate and transmit energy. And it underscores the power of deep time—both past and future—as a generator of energy forms and effects.

At its core, Thingness of Energy poses the question: what if "anticipating geologic scales of force, change, and effect" became a common design specification for energy production and distribution, policy-making, and infrastructure design?

The presentation is accompanied by several public programs, among them an installation walkthrough and facilities tour on Thursday, February 23, 12:30 p.m. (RSVP required: vlc@newschool.edu) and an energy-driven exchange among New School faculty members from different programs, on Monday, March 5, 6:30 p.m.

The opening reception coincides with other openings at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Where Do We Migrate To? curated by Niels Van Tomme.




Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and independent scholar. In 2006 she co-founded (with Elizabeth Ellsworth) smudge studio, based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Recent projects include Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York. Exhibitions have been presented at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Incident Report, Hudson, New York. She has been granted residencies with the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Wendover, Utah; Sundance Preserve; the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Kruse is the author of the Friends of the Pleistocene blog.

Thingness of Energy is an art project by Jamie Kruse, developed and produced in collaboration with The New Schools Office for Sustainability, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. The project is supported, in part, by The New Schools Green Fund and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center's 2011-2013 focus theme "Thingness."