• Henrik Håkansson, Monarch—The Eternal, 2008, still from a color film in 35 mm, 15 minutes looped.

    “Universal Code”

    The Power Plant
    231 Queens Quay West
    June 13–August 30, 2009

    Curated by Gregory Burke

    Universalism is back—at least in social-democratic redoubts like Barcelona (where MACBA’s “Universal Archive” opened last winter) and now Toronto. No longer conjured from the imagined ubiquity of the commodity form and its reflexive overcoming in distributed human reason, universalism is now being drawn from that same centerlessness of raw data and blind code that once seemed fated to the dark netherworld of the postmodern. “Universal Code” makes its case for this renewed promise with works by some 15 artists, including Angela Bulloch, Mircea Cantor, Cerith Wyn Evans, Gabriel Orozco, and Michael Snow. Pegged to the International Year of Astronomy’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s and Kepler’s signal accomplishments, the show works to reunite the deadened instrumental certainty of universal bar codes and the like with an older living, breathing philosophical inquiry into a universal code of ethics.