Tyler Coburn will read from his forthcoming book, a fictional memoir of the legal person “Richard Roe” that accompanies his orchid hybrid of the same name. This text, a hybrid of an essay and stand-up comedy, describes a world populated by legal fictions that creep around the margins of selfhood—and increasingly dictate the terms of economic and political process. Coburn will read the first chapter of this book, which discusses everything from the ancient trials of objects to recent arguments for the legal personhood of rivers and other elements of the natural world.
Tyler Coburn (United States) works with writing, installation, performance, and sound, addressing historical and emergent forms of labour: from the artist to the data miner, the factory worker to the cognitariat. Coburn works in a research-oriented, interdisciplinary, and occasionally collaborative manner, involving the participation of those working within the fields in question. No matter the focus of a given project, there are certain questions that drive Coburn’s practice at large: What does creative (or “uncreative”) writing look like in the 21st century? How can an artwork engage the complexities of our legal, technological, and geopolitical networks? Finally, what becomes of “subjectivity” and “the self” within post-human discourse? Coburn received a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He also served as a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 2014–15. His work has been presented at South London Gallery; Kunstverein Munich; Kunsthalle Wien; Western Front, Vancouver; Grazer Kunstverein; UCCA, Beijing; and Sculpture Center, New York. Coburn participated in the 11th Gwangju Biennale and the 10th Shanghai Biennale. His writing has appeared in e-flux journal, Frieze, Dis, Mousse, and Rhizome. Coburn was an NTU CCA Singapore Artist-in-Residence from June to July 2017.
A public programme of Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II.
Image caption: Tyler Coburn, Richard Roe (detail: drawing by Krisia Ayala), 2018, orchid hybrid legally named “Richard Roe” by the artist, custom glass pots fabricated by Verreum, performance and related texts. Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Courtesy the artist.