Co-Curators: Kirsty Robertson and Sarah E.K. Smith

In 1968, futurist, systems theorist, and architect R. Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) visited London, Ontario. Then at the height of his global fame, Fuller was best known for patenting the design for geodesic domes, as well as for his proto-environmentalist description of the planet as “Spaceship Earth.” For six days, he gave talks and met with artists, planners, industrialists, architects, and students at Western University. Throughout, Fuller mixed his thoughts on London with his own utopian vision for the future, which focused heavily on the interconnectedness of different processes on the planet.  

More than 50 years later, we revisit Fuller’s visit to London in a very different time. From Remote Stars is framed by a recording made by artist Greg Curnoe (1936–92) of a talk given in London by Fuller, and brings together the work of 22 artists, from the 1960s to the present. These works range from video to photography, painting, installation, and sculpture. The exhibition explores Fuller’s futuristic theories, while addressing the gaps in his techno-utopian vision for progress by highlighting many pathways to different futures. Today’s reality—climate change, the advent of big data and artificial intelligence, and increasing global interdependence—reveals Fuller’s inventiveness, as well as his limitations.

From Remote Stars is complemented by a three-episode podcast exploring Fuller’s trip to London and exhibition themes. The podcast is available here:

Image: Christina Battle, are we going to get blown off the planet (and what should we do about it), 2020, detail, video installation (single-channel HD video with sound, fabric curtain), Image Courtesy of the artist