Ground Zero Earth: A new exhibition showing the time is now or the future is never

06 February 2019

From climate change to political unrest we live in uncertain times – opening on February 15th is an art exhibition that explores our future and our reality in this pivotal moment of uncertainty. Ground Zero Earth draws on themes from the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), a University of Cambridge research group which studies risks that could lead to human extinction or civilisational collapse.

CSER researches new and largely unstudied risks associated with emerging technology and human activity such as biological risks, environmental risks, and risks from emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. Ground Zero Earth asks five artists to interpret and explore the part humans have to play across these themes.

Exhibition curator Yasmine Rix said “This is a very current topic being discussed and explored in recent years. This exhibition is based on Cambridge University research about risks that could contribute to human-made catastrophe. I want an audience to be taken into the minds of the experts to view what is at stake and ways in which we should be thinking about the future”

Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and CSER co-founder, said “Risks to the whole of civilization can be hard to get your head around. Art can help reexamine our place in the world and rethink our responsibilities. We’re delighted to work together with these artists to explore this vital subject”

The art exhibition features artists include Olivia Domingos, Daniel Sean Kelly, Bob Bicknell-Knight, David Lisser and Jillian Mayer and themes include human wellbeing, future scenarios and universal truths.

‘Clean meat’ is the focus of artist David Lisser’s reaction to risk. Reducing meat consumption is widely seen as the single most effective lifestyle choice a consumer can make to lower their impact on the earth. With this in mind, Lisser explores the rise and fall of lab grown meat in the 21st century, his work includes the social, cultural and economic context for the twists and turns of this fascinating time that has not yet taken place.

Also featured is US based artist Jillian Mayer who’s survivalist art has drawn attention from several platforms, in particular, her ‘Slumpies’ which facilitate an audience member to look at his or her phone in a comfortable position, commenting on the kind of world we live in now and a potential utilitarian future that may lie ahead.

The exhibition is at the Alison Richard Building and runs daily from 15 February – 22 March (9am until 5pm). Associated events taking place at the venue include a film screening, ‘Rise of the Machines’, on 14th March at 6pm and curator tour on 13th March at 4.30pm. More information, including how to book for these events can be found here. Ground Zero Earth is part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

Supported by CSER, ART at ARB, CRASSH, Arts Council England Lottery Fund, Cambridge BID.

Subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates