“Where is everybody?
"No alien civilizations have substantially colonized our solar system or systems nearby. Thus among the billion trillion stars in our past universe, none has reached the level of technology and growth that we may soon reach. This one data point implies that a Great Filter stands between ordinary dead matter and advanced exploding lasting life. And the big question is: How far along this filter are we?"
In 1996 economics professor and researcher Robin Hanson authored a paper that asked why we have yet to encounter intelligent extraterrestrial life. Building off a decades old question first proposed by physicist Enrico Fermi at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1950, Hanson argued that given the relative ease with which intelligent life seems to have formed on Earth in terms of biology, and given the abundance (billions) of Earth-like planets in the universe, statistically speaking, there should be a (very) high probability of intelligent life developing somewhere among the nearly infinite expanse of space and time - So why haven't we found them yet? Hanson’s paper proposed that somewhere along the biological or technological development of civilizations, there must be a mechanism that interferes with their development and prevents them from achieving the capacity for interstellar travel, colonization and/or communication, Hanson called this mechanism The Great Filter.
ELEVATOR MONDAYS is proud to announce EX NIHILO the first chapter in THE GREAT FILTER TRILOGY an exhibition of three interconnected shows that will unfold over the course of 20 weeks. Each chapter of the trilogy will deal with a different set of cultural and political concerns presented against the backdrop of evolving American identity. EX NIHILO is latin for “out of nothing,” it is often used to evoke divine creation or genesis.
EX NIHILO features six emerging Los Angeles-based artists working in painting, social practice, sculpture and drawing. The exhibition was curated around the idea of birth and beginning - How do we start the stories we tell? Where does our history begin?
Cheryl Bentley is a interdisciplinary artist whose graphite drawings interrogate the physiological origins of our collective and personal traumas. Adam de Boer paints his Dutch-Indonesian heritage through vibrate portraits that blend western oil painting with traditional Indonesian batik processes. Nina Hartmann is a printmaker and designer, her layered paintings incorporate archival images she collects and silk-screens onto hand-dyed supports. Alyssa Rogers is a painter whose eclectic style dives deep into her own subconscious often combining images from her dreams and memories. Molly Surazhsky combines her Russian heritage with contemporary influences to create social interventions that challenge the corporatization of our lives. Sarah Ann Weber is a painter whose large scale panels often combine painting and drawing to create floral all-over compositions inspired by impressionism and the California landscape.
ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment.