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What if our life was like a biosphere?

The COVID pandemic had brought the world to a standstill — isolated from one another, we communicated through phone screens and behind glass panes: the simple act of meeting a loved one had become a luxury. In the wake of the COVID crisis, people fumbled to return to the normality of the pre-pandemic world. We reflect therefore, in hindsight, the crucial significance of freedom. The post-pandemic boom has also inspired a rebirth of sorts in the art sphere — emerging from a period of great uncertainty, artists began to explore how certain crises have re-shaped and molded our perspectives. For the FOCUS New York Art Boom taking place in 2023, the idea of an art biosphere is brought to the forefront of our discussions.

But first of all — what is a biosphere? FOCUS Art Boom is inspired by the Biosphere 2 project: a research facility in Arizona, USA, that mimics the earth’s ecological system in order to facilitate research on human life in outer space. Featuring different biomes, namely mangrove wetlands, a savannah, a 850 square-meter ocean, and a rainforest, the Biosphere project 2 intended for a closed-system experiment that would see the eight crew members interact with one another as well as with the technology and artificial nature. Although the project was dissolved in 1994, it nonetheless inspired a plethora of discussions that spanned the areas of psychology, biology, and ethics. In Jonathan Lethem’s short story, loosely based around the aforementioned project, questions of freedom are raised through the depiction of the characters’ struggles to achieve liberation.

The topic of biosphere which FOCUS Art Boom explores at the New York Art Boom furthermore draws on artist Ellen Sheidlin’s 15 second video that dissects the idea of liberation. In the video, the viewer is presented with a flock of birds emerging from a girl’s mouth. As they fly out of the opening, they hit against a glass pane, shattering it in multiple locations. The birds that are featured in the video represent the inner-child of the subject. Indeed, the white colour of the doves seems to serve as a symbol for purity and innocence. Likewise, doves represent to a multiplicity of cultures the concepts of peace, freedom, and love. Their frenzied escape from the girl’s body, therefore, reflects her own urgency to break free of restraints, and iterates a profound desire for liberation.

The New York Art Boom, taking place from May 18, 2023 to May 21, 2023, poses the question: what if our life was like a biosphere? FOCUS Art Fair, since its conception in 2019, has placed great emphasis on constructing a global art community, and fostering an ecosystem between artists, art-lovers, collectors, and art galleries. Inspired by the concept of a biosphere, The New York Art Boom furthermore hopes to ascertain further the nuanced interactions between the digital and the physical, by offering the viewer a futuristic art experience through its VR viewing room and NFT marketplace, featuring world-renowned collections such as TON Diamonds. Like a biosphere, the event hopes to bring forth to the viewer a condensed view of the future of an artistic renaissance, in which the potential of both technology and art is harnessed to foster unique experiences as never seen before.

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