The Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) seeks proposals from faculty and students for artwork, performances, music and design that fit within the 2022 Cornell Biennial theme, “Futurities, Uncertain.”
The purpose of the Biennial, started in 2014, is to showcase art from the Cornell community, especially cross-disciplinary works. Chosen applicants will receive up to $8,000 in grant funding and the opportunity to display their finished work on campus later this year. The deadline for applications is Jan. 28.
This year’s theme centers around the future – specifically justice in society, community, ecology and the biosphere – as well as technology across the imaginary, the natural, the built, the cultural and the political. It is a space for artists to challenge the status quo of what the future might look like and to come up with creative solutions for global problems.
Timothy Murray, director of CCA and curator of the Cornell Biennial, said the uncertainty of the pandemic is part of the inspiration behind the theme.
“One of the things we want to do is offer artists an opportunity to think about futurity in the context of current uncertainties,” Murray said. “The artistic process and the imaginative process might offer avenues of thinking or expression outside of the norm.”
The theme asks artists to respond creatively to future demands such as erosion, war, extinction, racial oppression, digital obsolescence and cultural terrorism.
“We want to give our artists the opportunity to exhibit the multiplicity of global approaches to the main pressure points of the Biennial,” Murray said, “in a way that might help us think beyond, let’s say, dominant colonial visions of artistic expression.”
The Biennial has grown each year since its inception, Murray said; the grant committee usually gives out between eight and 12 awards.
Most of the winners’ art will be available for viewing on campus from August to November as traditional exhibitions; video projections and installations; outdoor installations; musical performances; and other forms. Since 2020 Biennial in-person activities were cancelled due to the pandemic, some winners from the last round will also be featured this year.
Additionally, CCA has recently announced a list of professional artists from around the world who will display their work relating to the Biennial theme this year on campus.