2 February - 17 March 2017
Opening Reception on Thursday February 2nd // 6PM

With "An Ecosystem of Excess" artist Pinar Yoldas answers her own question with displays of speculative life forms, including pelagic insects, marine reptiles, fish and birds endowed with organs to sense and metabolize plastics, and much more. They represent “a new Linnean order of post-human life forms,” says Yoldas.

Inspired by the groundbreaking fi­ndings of new bacteria that burrow into pelagic plastics, An Ecosystem of Excess envisions life forms of greater complexity that can thrive in man-made extreme environments – life forms that can “turn the toxic surplus of our capitalistic desire into eggs, vibrations, and joy,” observes Yoldas, who completed her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from Duke University in 2016. “Starting from excessive anthropocentrism, my work aims for anthropo-de-centrism by offering life minus mankind.” In 2008 Yoldas earned an MFA in New Media Art from UCLA (working in the Art|Sci Center and the UCLA Game Lab).

The artist’s work on speculative life forms draws on the biological sciences and digital technologies through architectural installations, kinetic sculpture, sound, video and drawing, with a focus on post-humanism, eco-nihilism, anthropocene as well as feminist technoscience.

Yoldas says the inspiration for her speculative biologies came from scientific and news reports about the Great Paci­fic Garbage Patch (originally dubbed a ‘trash vortex’ by sailor and environmental crusader Capt. Charles Moore after he encountered the rampant Pacific Ocean pollution in 1997). Covering between 700,000 and 15 million square kilometers, the site is a monument to plastic waste on a global scale after many years of unsustainable consumption around the Pacific Rim.

The Turkish-born, U.S.-based artist cites explorer and oceanographer Sylvia Earle, who called Earth a misnomer because the planet should really be called the Ocean. “After all,” explains Yoldas, “oceans are the life-support system of our planet as well as its salty wombs. The ancient ocean, the primordial soup, gave birth to the very fi­rst organic molecules and was brimming with prehistoric living organisms. That was four billion years ago. Today the composition of oceans is undergoing a dramatic change in which synthetic molecules are taking over. Anthropogenic waste has ­filled our oceans in less than two decades.”

Pinar Yoldas considers herself an ‘infradisciplinary’ designer/artist/researcher (infra as in ‘infrared’, she explains, where light goes beyond spectrum that is visible to the naked eye). The artist received a European Union-funded Future and Emerging Art and Technologies (FEAT) Award in 2016 to work with European scientists on novel technologies to convert carbon dioxide into something useful. In 2015, Yoldas received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the Fine Arts.

In addition to her Ph.D. and MFA degrees from Duke and UCLA, respectively, Yoldas received an M.S. in Internet Technologies from Istanbul Technical University (2006), and an M.A. in Visual Communication Design from Istanbul Bilgi University (2004). Earlier, she completed her undergraduate degree in Architecture at Middle East Technical University in Ankara (2002).

Yoldas published “An Ecosystem of Excess” (Argobooks) in 2014 to coincide with the work’s first gallery exhibition at the Ernst Schering Project Space in Berlin the same year.


Pinar Yoldas (Artist) is a Turkish cross-disciplinary artist/researcher based in Durham, North Carolina. Her work develops within biological sciences through architectural installations, kinetic sculpture, sound, video and drawing with a focus on anthropocene and feminist technoscience. Her solo shows include “The Warm, the Cool and the Cat”, Roda Sten Konstall (Sweden) and “An Ecosystem of Excess”, Ernst Schering Project Space, Berlin (2014). Her group shows include ThingWorld, NAMOC National Art Museum of Beijing (2014); Transmediale Festival, Berlin (2014); Polytech Museum, Moscow (2015), ExoEvolution at ZKM (2015), the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015) and Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts (2016). Yoldas has been an invited speaker at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Northwestern University, Angewandte Kunst, University of Michigan, Columbia University, University of Arizona, Reed College, University of Buffalo, Penn State and UCLA among many others. She is a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in the Fine Arts and a 2016 Future Emerging Arts and Technologies (FEAT) Award recipient. She holds a bronze medal in organic chemistry in Turkey’s national science olympics and had her first solo painting exhibition at age five. http://www.pinaryoldas.info/

Atkinson Hall, First Floor, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA, 92093
General Contact: galleryinfo(at)calit2.net


The Qualcomm Institute is located in Atkinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus at the corner of Voigt Drive and Equality Lane.


Pinar Yoldas Talk
February 2nd, 5PM

Calit2 Auditorium Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego
Jules Jaffe, SIO and Jessica Block, QI (Panelists) and Ricardo Dominguez (Moderator)

Images are courtesy of the artist and the gallery@calit2.

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