Mika Rottenberg

'Cosmic Generator'

At the SCAD Museum of Art, artist Mika Rottenberg presents her spellbinding work Cosmic Generator, an exploratory architectural installation leading to a single-channel short film that serves as an elaborate allegory. The film follows the exchange of commercial goods through a subterraneous tunnel system that connects an overflowing market in Yiwu, China, with a dollar store and a Chinese restaurant in the U.S.–Mexico border towns of Calexico and Mexicali. Featuring potent textures, hypnotic sounds, and vivid colors that activate the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), the film offers a kaleidoscopic view of the everyday absurdities and extreme conditions caused by globalization, geopolitics, and capitalism today. The artist extends the mesmerizing on-screen mise-en-scène into our physical world, inviting viewers to experience her peculiar surreality in multiple dimensions.

Signature image for Mika Rottenberg exhibition
Mika Rottenberg, "Cosmic Generator" (still), 2017, single-channel video installation: color with sound, 26 min., 36 sec., dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. © Mika Rottenberg. Commissioned by Skulptur Projekte Münster. Produced with generous support from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark; Outset Contemporary Art Fund, London; and Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative, Piraeus, Greece.

About the artist

New York-based artist Mika Rottenberg (b. 1976, Buenos Aires) is devoted to a rigorous practice that combines traditions of cinema and sculpture. Born in Argentina, Rottenberg spent her formative years in Israel, then moved to the U.S. where she earned her B.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York and an M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2004. Recent exhibitions of her work have been presented at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, and include the solo exhibition Easypieces at the New Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Rottenberg was the recipient of the 2019 Kurt Schwitters Prize, which recognizes artists who have made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary art. In 2018, she was awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize, which recognizes an artist younger than 50 who has produced a significant body of work and consistently demonstrates exceptional creativity.

Install Views


Cosmic Generator is organized by SCAD Museum of Art assistant curator Brittany Richmond and presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2023.

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