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Born: 1967, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Lives and Works: Belo Horizonte
Rivane Neuenschwander's art has the precisely orchestrated, unforced economy of what she has termed "ethereal materialism" and frequently involves modest materials. Often apparent is her fascination with serendipity and the agency of living systems, such as garden snails that munch away at rice-paper squares or ants that orchestrate a parade of confetti dots. The activation of sensory memory and trusting the realization of her work to the generosity of other people or nonhuman organisms frequently sparks Neuschwander's work to life. In I Wish Your Wish, the artist invites viewers to select a ribbon imprinted with a wish and leave behind a wish of their own. The ribbon can be tied to the wrist and worn until it falls off at which point the wish may be realized. The video Pangaea (2008) takes its title from the vast land mass that existed on earth about 250 million years ago, before this "supercontinent" broke apart into the land masses we know today. Neuenschwander used a stop-frame animation technique to record hundreds of ants as they crawled over and ate a plate of carpaccio meat, giving the viewer the sense that these tiny insects are moving and shaping an evolving map of the world.