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Anicka Yi: Hyundai Commission
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For the 2021 Hyundai Commission, asked herself what a 'natural history of machines' could look and feel like. As well as a revealing conversation with the artist about her own thinking, this book features a series of questions posed by her to some of the most ingenious minds now working in the diverse disciplines encompassed in her highly experimental work.

In Love With The World, 2021, a striking vision of a new ecosystem in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, was created by Anicka Yi for the sixth Hyundai Commission. Originally part of Bankside Power Station, the vast hall was built to house electricity-generating machinery and Yi populated this post-industrial space with machines once again. Her floating entities, called aerobes, exhibit individual and group behaviors in response to different elements of their environment, prompting us to think about the shifting relationship between technology and the biological world, and the ways that artificial intelligence might evolve into independent forms. Scents also carried by the air evoke odors that connect the aerobes with the history of the site over millennia: questions about the politics of the air we all share and our changing responses to smells form an integral part of Yi’s artistic practice.

The book features a captivating short story by Elvia Wilk that re-imagines facets of the endeavor in a speculative future space, and fittingly, the aerobes are captured in remarkable photographs by wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas. Made in close collaboration with the artist, and including a survey of previous work, this unique publication provides a genuine insight into Yi’s past and present creative production.

This is the latest volume in a major series that explores the conception and creation of each Hyundai Commission as well as offering an overview of in the artist’s work and career leading up to the latest ground-breaking installation. Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionized public awareness of contemporary art, and the annual Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context.

Born in South Korea and now living and working in New York, Anicka Yi is a conceptual artist. Known for installations that engage the senses, especially the sense of smell, and for her collaborations with biologists and chemists, in previous artworks she has used an astonishing array of materials and scents to explore questions of technology, identity and labor. Her work draws from the research of philosophers who are concerned with emerging forms of life and intelligence, while also addressing questions around migration, class and gender.