On view: November 15, 2019 until the Millennium Tower is fixed or torn down
Opening Reception: Friday, November 15 | 5–8pm
The Tower, SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
(San Francisco, CA)—The art collective Postcommodity presents The Point of Final Collapse, a sound installation and broadly conceptual work that focuses on San Francisco’s sinking Millennium Tower, responding to a scenario of capitalism contributing to the development of new conceptual frameworks of risk and accountability—as a building falls, its value rises. Postcommodity will engage the perspectives of a broad public by providing a call to prayer for relief from the economic stresses and dangers of a city in the throes of radical social, cultural, architectural, and economic transformation.
Postcommodity is the recipient of the 2019 award from The Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation that supports artists-in-residence at SFAI. The Point of Final Collapse is the result of Postcommodity’s residency at the school.
The Point of Final Collapse uses computational algorithms that parse data representing the movement of the Tower. This movement data is then mapped to healing ASMR audio and soothing binaural beats, transforming the sonification of the sinking and tilting of the Millennium Tower into therapeutic sounds designed to encourage relaxation by extending the power of the city’s scenic beauty. Long Range Acoustic Devices, installed in the tower at SFAI’s historic Chestnut Street Campus, will subtly broadcast this indeterminate and generative multichannel sound composition to North Beach and downtown San Francisco for a 4-minute duration each day at 5:00 pm. Visitors will be able to access the location of the broadcast via the SFAI website once the project is installed.
The Point of Final Collapse renders legible the logics of technocracy and capitalism, which encode fear, desire, and the inability for the greater public to rationalize and control systems of power.
Gordon Knox, President of SFAI, says that vanguard artistic investigation of this sort is entirely in keeping with the tradition of the school. “Postcommodity has consistently and repeatedly delivered experiences that provide deep and deepening revelations by sharing the fruit of their investigations through highly articulate assemblies of people, places, symbols and ideas,” says Knox. “The Point of Final Collapse will transform how we think about today’s urban life and structures. Postcommodity never fails to deliver a deeper view and this project will provide exactly that.”
Postcommodity is an indigenous art collective composed of SFAI Art + Technology Chair Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere.
The collective has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: 18th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, AUS; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; documenta14, Athens, GR and Kassel, DE; and their historic land art installation at the U.S./Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON.
Postcommodity is the recipient of a 2019 award from The Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation, made possible by a generous bequest from the artist Ann Chamberlain and intended to explore the evolving role of public practice and to support visiting artists at SFAI. Past artists-in-residence include Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Katrin Sigurdardóttir, and Michael Jones McKean, among others.
About San Francisco Art Institute
Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the practice and study of contemporary art. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, SFAI provides students with a rigorous education in the arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts and art history curriculum, and critical engagement with the world. Committed to educating artists who will shape the future of art, culture, and society, SFAI fosters creativity and original thinking in an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary context.
For more information, the public may visit sfai.edu or call (415) 749-4563. SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus is located at 800 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA.