19 June – 31 July 2017
Tyler Coburn (b. 1983, United States) is an artist and writer based in New York. Shifting from performance and installation to writing and sound, his work critically addresses issues of labour and smart urbanism, trends in computing, the material infrastructures of the virtual world and the ways digital interfaces affect writing and notions of the self.
He holds an M.F.A. Studio Art from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a B.A. Literature from Yale University, New Haven, United States. In 2013-2014 he was a fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program
Coburn has exhibited widely, both within the United States and internationally. His work has been presented in group exhibitions at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2017); 2016 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany (2016); de Cordova Sculpture Park, Lincoln, United States (2015); Shanghai Biennale, China (2014); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, United Kingdom (2012), just to mention a few. His writing has appeared in publications such as Frieze, e-flux, Mousse and Rhizome. Most recently, he participated in Container Artist Residency 01, a residency program that takes place onboard commercial cargo ships.
Investigating Singapore’s role within the growing global phenomenon of “green cities”, Coburn will pursue research into Singapore’s development from “Garden City” to “City in a Garden”. He aims to delve into historical and emerging notions of green urbanism, framing the garden as a pedagogical, philosophical, and literary construct. Focusing on two specific case studies, he will place the multiple functions of Singapore Botanic Gardens in a wider historical prospective and explore the social and economic conditions which underlie the complex eco-tourist structure of Gardens by the Bay.
Ergonomic Futures is a multi-part project that asks questions about contemporary “fitness” through the lens of speculative evolution. Consisting of seats designed for future bodies that currently serve as museum furniture, a website (www.ergonomicfutures.com), and a lecture, the work comes out of Tyler Coburn’s interviews with paleoanthropologists, ergonomists, evolutionary biologists, and genetic engineers. To each he has asked: What are future scenarios for imagining new types of human bodies and how might this thought experiment reframe conversations about body normativity in the present day?
In the lecture, Coburn will discuss genetic engineering, the founder effect, postplanetary living, and other matters that contribute to the biological, philosophical, and legal definition of the “human.”