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Systemic by Urbanauts (Sean Orlando and Rebar)

June 5, 2013June 30, 2013

Wednesdays-Sundays, 1–5 pm
plus Friday Nights 6–8:45 pm
Artist Reception, Friday, June 28, 6–8:45 pm

Hidden in plain sight or buried just beneath our feet is a complex system of pipes, valves, drains and pumps. Contemporary society relies on this expansive engineered network of steel, brass, cast iron and PVC in fundamental ways that we sometimes take for granted. Drainage, running water, steam, sewage treatment, pumping stations, fire suppression systems, back flow protection valves and emergency backup water supplies; Many of these systems exist behind closed doors, in basements or just underneath that manhole cover that we've walked across countless times. To the careful observer, evidence of a more complex system just below and beyond perception -- the "tip of the iceberg" of a massive network of infrastructure, as out of mind as it is out of sight.

For the entire month of June 2013, Urbanauts will create Systemic – an installation within the deYoung’s Kimball Gallery that will multiply, morph, expand and evolve over time. Systemic comprises a complex, entangled network of pipes and valves will transform the Kimball Gallery from wall to ceiling, challenging Museum visitors to reflect on the space in which they inhabit and inviting them to rethink their relationship to the unseen infrastructural systems that support life in the city.

At the end of the June residency, we will disassemble the Systemic installation and prepare it for Phase 3, a public interactive display. Working with the Black Rock Arts Foundation, Urbanauts will identify three sites around the city and reconfigure the installation as a site-specific temporary public artwork that will act as a sort of urban parasite, or Remora, attaching itself to existing infrastructure throughout the city in an attempt to simultaneously blend in with the urban landscape and reveal the inherent beauty and craft of these critical systemic structures.

The fellowship culminates in a final exhibition at the de Young, October 2 - November 3. Join us for two special Friday Night events curated by the Urbanauts, on August 2, and Black Rock Arts Foundation, October 25. 


For more information on the Urbanauts project or the artists, Sean Orlando and Rebar, visit the Artist Fellows page

Urbanauts is presented with the support of the de Young Museum Artist Fellows Program and partner organization Black Rock Arts Foundation.  

This project has been generously funded by The James Irvine Foundation's Innovation Fund and the Institute of Museum and Library Services/Museums for America.