Drift ‘Fragile Future’ comes to The Shed

Using sound, movement and film by the multidisciplinary Amsterdam-based artists DRIFT, Fragile Future transforms The Shed’s galleries with experiential multi-sensory installations that suggest alternative solutions for a positive future. Marking DRIFT’s first New York solo presentation and featuring a soundtrack created by ANOHNI, the monumental exhibition and series of special performances builds on DRIFT’s practice of creating experiences that inspire a reconnection to our planet and its natural processes, as well as empathy towards anthropomorphic non-living objects. On view September 29 through December 19, 2021, Fragile Future is presented by Superblue, the ground-breaking new venture dedicated to producing, presenting, and engaging audiences with experiential art, and The Shed, the innovative new arts center on Manhattan’s west side.

Fragile Future takes audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations – exploring the universal search for origin, destination, and connection, as well as the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change. The experience opens with a luminous installation, Coded Coincidence, in which audiences are mesmerized by multitudes of shimmering lights, whose movements mirror the flight pattern of elm seeds as they are directed by the forces of the wind each spring. By highlighting the coincidental, unexpected paths of these “dancing seeds,” the installation explores the necessity and beauty of coincidence and its essential role in our natural processes and evolution. Fading and falling to the ground, the seeds of light give way to Ego, in which a large block made of hair-thin illuminated threads is suspended in mid-air. The block moves and morphs over time, shifting from a rigid rectangle to a distorted plane, imbuing an object typically thought of as inanimate with human emotions and qualities. The experience also includes the multidisciplinary light sculpture Fragile Future, which fuses nature and technology to create a critical yet utopian vision of the future of our planet, wherein two seemingly opposite evolutions have made a pact to survive. 

Audiences are transported into the final act of the installation series, Drifters, by way of a series of multichannel projected films. Representing a portal to another world, the films portray a group of concrete blocks that float through both familiar and imagined environments in New York City and elsewhere, passing through lush nature and dystopian urban settings in search for their origin and destination. The experience culminates in the transition from the film into the physical realm, as a monumental concrete monolith appears, in an atmosphere of hopeful levitation.

On select dates throughout the run, Drifters transforms into a surreal immersive performance that spans The Shed’s fourstory-high, 17,000-square-foot McCourt space. The work contemplates the way our world is built and offers an alternative perspective to our understanding of its makeup. In this unique performance activation, the monolith is joined by additional blocks that float and dance in an ethereal atmosphere, in counterpoint with a soundtrack by ANOHNI.

Organized by Kathleen Forde, Senior Curator, Superblue, the premiere of Fragile Future marks Superblue’s debut presentation in New York, following the launch of its experiential art center in Miami this May, and coincides with several major projects by DRIFT this fall. A new multisensory experience, Shylight (working title), debuts this September at Design Miami / Basel, presented by Superblue; and on view in Miami through 2022, DRIFT’s kinetic installation Meadow inaugurates the new experiential art center, Superblue Miami, and marks the launch of Superblue’s Suspension program. This November, a solo exhibition of DRIFT’s “Materialism” series will also be presented by Pace Gallery in New York, exploring the raw materials that make up everyday objects.


DRIFT: Fragile Future

A new commission by DRIFT, presented by Superblue and The Shed

Featuring a soundtrack by ANOHNI

September 29 – December 19, 2021

Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday: 11 am  6 pm; Fri and Sat: 11 am  8 pm

Tickets: Adults $25; Seniors/Students $18; Shed members and visitors 18 and under are admitted free 

Exhibition + Drifters Performance Schedule and Tickets:

October 23 and 24; November 12 – 14, 19 – 21, 26 – 28; and December 3 – 5, 17 – 19 (additional dates to be announced)

11 am  10 pm

Tickets: Adults $35; Seniors/Students $28; Shed members and visitors 18 and under $10

All visitors are required to wear a face covering for the duration of their visit. Additional safety details and any updates due to new governmental guidelines are available at theshed.org/visit.

Tickets are available at theshed.org.

The Shed, Level 2 Gallery and The McCourt

545 West 30th Street, New York NY

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