Island Imaginations: Oscar Santillán and Lisa Le Feuvre in conversation on Zoom

Oscar Santillán is one of the five artists selected to participate in Holt/Smithson Foundation’s first artist commission: The Island Project: Point of Departure. Each artist is invited to respond to Little Fort Island, an small island off the coast of Maine, that Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson purchased sight-unseen in 1971. In the spirit of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, The Island Project sets out to develop innovative ways of exploring our relationship with the planet. The artists were invited to consider how this island site can be a point of departure to generate ideas, raise questions, and inspire artworks.

Over the last four years, Santillán has developed The Interspecies Virtual Machine (IVM) as his response, working with Colby College of Art’s Lunder Institute as their 2022 Senior Fellow.  His project begun by asking the question “what an island might dream about?” in order to consider what an earthwork for the present might be. It uses Santillán’s Antimundo toolbox, that the artist describes as “a way of identifying and generating realities that do not fit in the world.”  This system of research draws on cybernetics, science fiction, ancient cosmologies, and an inclusive history of science and plant intelligence. The IVM operates as space where biological and technological entities can form a sense of non-hierarchical community, deploying real-time sensors on the island to gather data and AI technology manifest the voices of Holt and Smithson.

In this hour-long talk, Oscar Santillán will be in conversation with Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of Holt/Smithson Foundation to think together about island imaginations.

Register in advance for this webinar.

Thursday April 11, 2024
11am Mountain Time / 1pm Eastern Time / 7pm Central European
Duration: one hour

Oscar Santillán is an artist and cybernetician living in The Netherlands and Ecuador. He is currently embarked on a long-term project oriented to rediscover lost episodes of the history of science in Latin America, understanding these attempts require seamless mutations between indigenous cosmologies, modern technologies, and sci-fi imaginaries. 

Lisa Le Feuvre is the inaugural Executive Director of Holt/Smithson Foundation, which is dedicated to the creative legacies of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Collaborating with artists, writers, thinkers, and institutions the Foundation realizes exhibitions, publishes books, initiates artist commissions, programs educational events, encourages research, and develops collections globally from its headquarters in New Mexico.

Archived News

Nancy Holt: Circles of Light at Gropius Bau, Berlin

Holt/Smithson Foundation and Gropius Bau are pleased to announce the most comprehensive presentation of Nancy Holt in Germany to date. Taking a journey through Holt’s output, starting with her first artwork made in 1966, Circles of Light expands over the Gropius Bau’s ground floor and atrium. Paying attention to Holt’s experimental approach to the interplay between the immaterial and the material, this exhibition underscores the singularity of Holt’s oeuvre.

Chapter Six of Tuesday Texts

We are happy to announce that throughout January we will be publishing a sixth chapter of our Tuesday Text Series as part of our ongoing Scholarly Text Program, which invites thinkers to focus on a single artwork by Holt and/or Smithson. This chapter of Tuesday Texts will focus on artworks by Robert Smithson.

Every Tuesday we will publish a text to our website that includes images selected by the author, a short bibliography, citation reference, and endnotes pointing to the author’s references.