New York

Andrea Zittel

Andrea Rosen Gallery

While the old school of formalist sculpture has all but expired for lack of blood, “real-time systems” art has come galloping over the horizon. With a tip of the hat to Jack Burnham and Hans Haacke, recent generations of artists have widened the “systemic” sphere to include forms of narrative grounded not only in a range of social sciences, but in social fictions as well—precisely what gives this version of ’60s redux new relevancy. At the intersection of science and fiction, we have long exercised our cultural option to imaginatively invent a plethora of contemporary futures as a means of mirroring the complex present. But here’s the catch; when we talk about “real-time systems,” whether political, biological, environmental, or historical, there’s more than a little confusion about how we conceive of the “real” and how we want it pictured. Federico Fellini, who characterized reality as

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