AFTER LIFE (we survive) | Jeremiah Barber

Presented by YBCA | November 9, 2020–January 24, 2021

Jeremiah Barber

b. 1983, Michigan
Lives and works in San Francisco

Lightroom, 2020

Interactive web presentation

Darkroom, 2020

Interactive web presentation

Courtesy the artist

Use your computer mouse or touchpad to explore Barber’s virtual spaces.

Created by Jeremiah Barber for AFTER LIFE (we survive) while in quarantine, Lightroom and Darkroom examine two sites of production: a greenhouse/laboratory/art studio, and a pigeon roost/photographic darkroom. Inside are stories of the artist’s attempts to expand the photographic process to incorporate or collaborate with plants and nonhuman animals. Real historical examples are intermixed with Barber’s interventions, scientific diagrams, and videos. Each room traces an alternative path of technology that is loose, wild, and ambulatory. 

Lightroom includes an early version of the camera flash made from burning fern spores, a garden that tells time, and the artist’s efforts to build a lightmeter that relies on a plant’s intelligent reading of sunlight. Caught between ever-changing plants and the highly calculated process of taking a photograph, Lightroom considers how precarious and adaptive systems might allow us to move forward together into our unstable future.

In Darkroom, pigeons rest in the nooks and shelves, reflecting several ways in which the birds have been collaborators as photographers, lifesavers, and data collectors. From Julius Neubronner’s nascent spycraft to Beatriz da Costa’s PigeonBlog (2006), pigeons are an essential companion species, while historically they have also been derided and weaponized. Darkroom explores the conflict inherent in biomimicry—elevating the traits of nonhuman animals while carrying out their genocide.

Explore Barber’s virtual spaces using your computer mouse or touchpad. Click on elements in the room to reveal the ranging depths of Barber’s research. 

This work is online only. 

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AFTER LIFE (we survive) | Artworks