miriam simun | мирьяама симун | instagram | twitter | CV | Bio
CONTACT: simun (at) media.mit.edu
Transhuman Octopus Evolution
YOUR URGE TO BREATHE IS A LIE, 2019
25:00’ HD Video with 3-channel sound (3rd channel embedded into custom seating platform)
HOW CAN I BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY WHEN I CAN FEEL WHAT YOU DO?
Live Performance, 55'00
With Joana Silva, Lucilia Raimundo, Mauro Pires aka Maurrice
I first found the quote "how can I believe what you say when I can see what you do?" (attributed to James Baldwin) in the book "My Grandmother's Hands" by Resmaa Menakem. In this book Menakem advocates physical exercise to overcome and cure historical and social traumas that are rooted in our body. Some of these Menakem exercises served as a starting point for the work developed by Miriam and the 3 dancers. The artist later realized that this quote from Baldwin is so famous that it is found not only all over the internet, but also printed on T-Shirts. Upon further research, my friend and PhD scholar, Mimi Schultz, found for me the original source: “A Report from Occupied Territory” (first published in The Nation , July 11, 1966), where Baldwin in fact quotes Tina and Ike Turner's song, “I Can't Believe What You Say.” This information turned out to be the most perfect change of direction for the work, creating a new reading and the possibility to claim and lend and believe or not to believe and to represent and transmute and simply to be.
WHAT IS KNOWN, original artist book (ed. 100) and digital publication, edited by Sam Hart, tracing the interwoven ecological, social, political history of one little weed, the only endangered plant in New York, a pink flower that blooms one day a year.
[see also] Agalinis Acuta, Phantom Flower, [The New Yorker] 2014
A WET CHEMICAL TRACE, Solo Exhibition with Helena Anrather, NYC, 2017
On view in the gallery is a series of bent-steel sculptures, presented in pairs, which Simun built as a kind of digital, or post-natural garden. Simun bent the forms herself, using her body and cold-bending techniques to curve eight lengths of steel rod into lyrical armatures. The steel forms are affixed with grow lamps, oddly shaped glass flasks, and a range of equipment familiar from research laboratories, but none of the sculptures is fixed in a permanent state; just as equipment might be moved in a laboratory, Simun’s work suggests the possibility of rearrangement. In each of the sculptural pairs, one of the armatures is affixed with a grow bag that holds Schizachyrium scoparium, or little bluestem grass, the plant onto which the Agalinis acuta attaches its roots in order to gather nutrients. [text by Zachary Fischman]
Imagined Lines and Alibis, 2019
18'00 HD Video with audio
I Did Not Have to Kill in Order to Survive (But all of the alternatives carry their own burden of designating who lives and who dies and how). We all kill, though most of us delegate the responsibility to others. So what do I learn from bleeding a mammal with my own hand? I do not have to kill to survive. And yet, all of the alternatives carry their own burden of designating who lives and who dies and how. As Donna Harraway writes, "neither human exceptionalism nor the oneness of all things can come to the rescue. We develop reasons and commitments, and live with the consequences." I Did Not Have to Kill in Order to Survive is an intimate self-portrait of artist-as-fieldworker Miriam Simun as she learns to hunt wild game in the conflicted desert landscape of the American West. [text by Branko Franceschi]
A Measure of Scatter (Across Berlin Sky)
Lecture-performance with site-specific Time Scatter Measure apparatus
With Cory Levinson
Over the course of 2 hours, we will use color and sound to reveal the fractured and illusive nature of time, re-directing perception during the very hours of the day where light is re-directed by small particles to scatter brilliance across the sky.
Audience members will be provided with an apparatus created especially for the measuring of Berlin sunset, inspired by the Cyanometer, an 18th century scientific instrument used to measure the blueness of the sky. Collective measurement will be paced by Cory Levinson, using tape-loop and electronics for sonic framing.
GHOSTFOOD, 2013, explores eating in a future of and biodiversity loss brought on by climate change. The GhostFood mobile food trailer serves scent-food pairings that are consumed by the public using a wearable device that adapts human physiology to enable taste experiences of unavailable foods. In collaboration with Miriam Songster. Presented in Moscow, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Newark, Philadelphia and New York. more details
Making Human Cheese, 2011
3'10", Single channel video with audio
For more on this work see the wonderful essay by Mariana Meneses Romero:
Eating human cheese: The Lady Cheese Shop (est. 2011) in FEAST
Human Farming, 2011
// Selected Recent Exhibitions //
01.2020 Tomorrow is Already Here California, USA
09.2019 El Reves de la Trama, 45th National Salon Bogota, Colombia
07.2019 Food of the Future Moscow, Russia
03.2019 HOW CAN I BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY WHEN I CAN FEEL WHAT YOU DO? Lisbon, Portugal
09.2017 A WET CHEMICAL TRACE New York, USA
04.2017 I Did Not Have to Kill in Order to Survive Split, Croatia
04.2017 Shanghai Project: Seeds of Time Shanghai, China
// More Elsewhere // Creative Capital Esse MIT
// Video // https://vimeo.com/238351362 https://vimeo.com/234958620 https://vimeo.com/44785496 https://vimeo.com/260078363 https://vimeo.com/222134358