An ever increasing body of scientific evidence indicates that human beings are the prime drivers of global environmental change.

Moving freely across artistic disciplines, Future Perfect brings together visual artists whose work explores our conflicted relationship to the natural world.

The Anthropocene, in all its iterations, encompasses ideas that span race, class, and culture, as well as multiple disciplines in the sciences and humanities. Future Perfect posits that beneath the chaos of contemporary life, artists envisage and protect a fragile, complicated interior space in which visual and poetic forms might help us unravel and accept the reality of a world––and an epoch–– characterized by the effects of our presence. Although Future Perfect features contemporary artists, it also includes the early twentieth-century documentary photographer Darius Kinsey, whose images of Northwest logging camps are a potent reminder of both nature’s resilience and its ever-accelerating demise in the face of human intervention.

Future Perfect includes several commissioned projects that will unfold over time and activate the museum space. It also includes related artwork from the University at Albany Fine Arts Collection.

During the course of the exhibition, the museum will serve as a site for reflection, dialogue, and artistic exploration. Drawing on guest speakers and the academic resources of the university, the museum will host weekly talks, performances, readings, and informal conversations related to the subject of climate change within a broad scientific, literary, historical, and geo-political framework.

The “Anthropocene,” a contested term that some have used to define a geological era of human-driven destruction, encompasses ideas that span race, class, and culture, as well as multiple disciplines in the sciences and humanities.

Future Perfect: Sands, Butterflies Modernism...

Exploring loss and longing, dreams of universal education and Nabokov’s endangered butterflies.

by Jennifer Kabat

Curators for Picturing the Anthropocene: Danny Goodwin, Janet Riker and Corinna Ripps Schaming

About the Curators

Danny Goodwin is a New York-based artist working primarily in photography. A native Texan, his photographic, video and installation work has been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions at Jack the Pelican Presents, Art Resources Transfer, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Momenta Art, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, all in New York City, as well as the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, California; Proposition Gallery in Belfast, Ireland; Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, D. C.; Penn State Altoona, Pennsylvania; Cartel Gallery, London, U.K.; Galerie Sans Titre in Brussels, Belgium; UKS in Oslo, Norway; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Danny Goodwin is a 2005 Artists' Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). His publication credits include The Boston Globe, Influence Magazine, Details Magazine, i-D Magazine, Pierogi Press, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and The Albany Times Union. He is Associate Professor and Director of Photography and Related Media in the Department of Art and Art History at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Goodwin joined the faculty of the University at Albany in 1999 and previously taught photography and digital imaging at both Purdue University and the Cooper Union School of Art. He received an M.F.A. in Combined Media from Hunter College (1992) and a B.F.A. in Photography from the School of Art at the University of North Texas (1989).

Janet Riker has served as Director of the University at Albany Art Museum since 2004. Prior to moving the Capital Region, Riker was Director of the Rotunda Gallery (Brooklyn Information and Culture/BRIC) in Brooklyn for fourteen years; there she developed a highly regarded program of changing exhibitions and innovative educational offerings for children and adults. She was Director of the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery, Bayside, New York, and Assistant Curator at the Drawing Center in New York City from 1984 to 1988. Riker holds the M.A. degree in Art History from Columbia University (1981) and B.A. from Alfred University (1969). She has organized dozens of group exhibitions of contemporary visual arts, as well a major traveling exhibition of the work of painter Julie Heffernan. She has served on numerous selection panels and public commissioning bodies, and has lectured widely on contemporary art and artists’ issues. In 2004, Riker received the Betty Smith Arts Award from the Brooklyn Borough President and was cited by the New York City Council for her contribution to the arts in Brooklyn; in 2016 she received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award and the UAlbany President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Corinna Ripps Schaming is Associate Director and Curator at the University at Albany Art Museum. Over the past fifteen years, she has organized more than eighty contemporary art exhibitions at the University Art Museum, as well as other venues including the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, New York and the Boulevard Project Space in Albany, New York which she founded and directed for three years. She has organized solo shows for numerous artists including: Steve DiBenedetto, Keltie Ferris, Phil Frost, Rachel Foullon, Kate Gilmore, Dana Hoey, William Lamson, Judith Linhares, Suzanne McClelland, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Jason Middlebrook, Lamar Peterson, Michelle Segre, James Siena, and Brian Tolle. Her exhibitions include: The Ties That Bind: Artists and Archives (2015); Day After Day: The Diaristic Impulse (2013); American Playlist: Selections from The University at Albany Art Collections (2014); Material Occupation (2012); Courier (2011); Uncharted (2009), and The Space Between Us (2006). Ripps Schaming holds an MFA from University at Albany, State University of New York (1984) and a BA from University at Albany, State University of New York (1981)

The exhibition and related programming were made possible with support from UAlbany’s Office of the President and Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, the Presidential Initiatives Fund for Research and Scholarship (PIFRS), the University Art Museum Endowed Director’s Fund, the Ann C. Mataraso Endowment Fund in honor of Professor Emeritus Mark Greenwold, University Auxiliary Services, and the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.