Announcing our 2016 commission recipients

Triple Canopy is pleased to announce that Amy Herzog, Andrew Leland, and Jon Wang are the recipients of our seventh annual call for proposals. The magazine invited artists and writers to propose projects for inclusion in the newest issue, Vanitas, which explores contemporary meditations on mortality as well as the delights, delusions, and pressures of fleshly existence. In the next year, the recipients will work closely with editors on the creative and technical realization of their projects, which may be published as digital works of art or literature, performances, or print pamphlets.

Proposals are reviewed by Triple Canopy year-round via our online submission form. We thank everyone who applied and congratulate this year’s recipients!

2016 Commission Recipients

Image of the entrance to TV Tokyo’s 2015 interactive body exhibit, Karada no Fushigi Daibouken.

Amy Herzog is a scholar and critic who writes about sound, film, philosophy, pornography, and dioramas. For her Triple Canopy commission, “My Colony,” Herzog will examine new developments in our understanding of the human microbiome, in particular the diverse organisms that populate our digestive systems. Through a public presentation and digital essay, she’ll explore the ways in which contemporary practices of intestinal flora management serve to contain and commodify anxiety, performing as prophylaxes against the dissolution of the self. Recent studies have pointed to the staggering number of bacteria that live on and within us, vastly outnumbering our human cells and influencing our health and behavior. Human beings, this research suggests, are leaky, decentralized systems, at one with (and perhaps governed by) the organisms that comprise them. A carefully curated and monitored microbiome suggests not only the assurance of a disease-free future, but the presence of an ethically sound managerial subject. In this most intimate and invisible of labor, well-being and vanity become indistinguishable.

Scene from Peter Brook’s King Lear (1971): Alan Webb as Gloucester, Paul Scofield as Lear.

Andrew Leland hosts and produces The Organist, an arts and culture podcast from KCRW and the Believer magazine, and is a lecturer in English at Smith College. With “Vile Jelly,” Leland will document and examine his experience of vision loss through a hybrid of auditory forms: essay, interview, sound-designed fiction, and documentary. As the rod cells in Leland’s retina degenerate, the world turns to fiction before his eyes: his mangled visual field dismembers bodies, decimates printed language, and ablates his young son into a cubist fug. Gradual blindness creates a sort of double vision, where the double is vision’s absence—seeing things and instantly imagining how they will be when he no longer sees them. “Vile Jelly” will weave the imaginative narrative of his impending sightlessness with the lived reality of his partially blind experience, documenting the degeneration of the visible world while Leland observes (and even celebrates) its passing.

Carved feng shui holes in Hong Kong high-rises.

Jon Wang is an artist and filmmaker based in New York. Combining queer erotica, Chinese folklore, and feng shui architecture, “From Its Mouth Came a River of High End Residential Appliances” explores fantasies of bodily transformation and self-mythologization. Through video and performance, Jon Wang will document his transformation into a dragon deity, which revolves around a planned journey through a series of dragon gates: gaping passages in Hong Kong high-rises that are designed to allow dragons to make their way from the mountains to the sea to drink and bathe.