John W. Olver Design Building

Architecture’s Sandy Litchfield to Present ‘Y3K: On Distant Keys’ Exhibit in Design Building Gallery March 25-April 26

An image from the Y3K exhibit

From March 25-April 26, the Design Building Gallery will feature an exhibition and event led by Associate Professor of Architecture Sandy Litchfield titled, “Y3K: On Distant Keys,” which imagines a future where landforms are recognized as sentient beings with legal rights and the ability to self-govern. An opening reception is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26 from 4:30-6 p.m., with a performance and gallery talk at 5:15 p.m.

Based on Litchfield’s transdisciplinary research project, “On Distant Keys,” the exhibition portends the yet-to-be island of Ondacka leading the planet as it enters the next millennia and new global consciousness. With a curated selection of art, artifacts, maps, music, videos and text, the exhibition highlights artistic interpretations of nine distinct landforms.

“Y3K: On Distant Keys” follows the 2023 exhibition, “The Futuring Lab,” which was thematically grounded in time. This show explores the spatial possibilities for place-based consciousness, asking: How does one grow with the places one inhabits? In what ways does one become a lake, a forest, or even a city? What future modes of communication and communion can one have with a forest, an ocean, or a river? And how can one extend the notion of civility, to include the wildly feral and earthly bodies of our terrestrial world?

The exhibition, which will include a limited-edition catalog, was curated by producer Litchfield, co-curator Kelly Feeney, research assistant Bella Donovan and music curator Ben Richter. 

Visual artists include Ashley Eliza Williams, Amanda Maciuba, Darren Waterston, Elliott Green, Ian Ingram, Kathy Ruttenberg, Linda Molenaar, Malaika Ross, Renee Gladman, Siobhán MacDonald, Saya Woolfalk and numerous students and other community collaborators. Musicians are Ben Richter, Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, Jonny Rogers and Laura Cetilia.

“Y3K: On Distant Keys” is sponsored by a UMass Amherst Faculty Research Grant, the Architecture Research Collaborative, the Office of Inclusion & Engagement, the School of Earth and Sustainability, the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, Renaissance of the Earth, The Anthropocene Lab and The Puffin Foundation.

Acknowledgements include Isa Diamond, Patrick Bui, Tori Gitto, Colleen Tully, Jen Simms, Evan Janes, Jamie Grasso, Evelyn Howie, Naomi Jaenicke, Vivian Bonilla, Rob DeConto, Julie Brigham Grette and Yuntian Hu.

More information about the exhibit is available on the College of Humanities & Fine Arts Architecture website