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ExhibitionMessage from Our Planet

Feb 19–Jun 2, 2024

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation announces Message from Our Planet, a new media exhibition that brings together 20 software, video, and light-technology artworks from 19 international artists and artist groups working at the forefront of digital and electronic art, opening October 1, 2022, at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, and travelling to the Chazen in 2024.

Message from Our Planet is curated around the idea that media technologies―from vintage devices to cutting-edge digital algorithms―offer distinct ways for artists to communicate with future generations, encapsulating the artifacts and ambitions of contemporary society. Exhibiting artists include: Brian Bress, Lia Chaia, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Hong Hao, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Claudia Hart, Jenny Holzer, Eduardo Kac, Lee Nam Lee, Christian Marclay, Paul Pfeiffer, Tabita Rezaire, Michal Rovner, Jason Salavon, Elias Sime, Skawennati, Penelope Umbrico, United Visual Artists, and Robert Wilson. The exhibition tours to five venues over the next two years. A free, fully illustrated brochure designed to emulate a newspaper is available within the exhibition.

Says the exhibition’s curator Jason Foumberg, “Message from Our Planet was inspired by the interstellar time-capsule Voyager 1, a spacecraft containing a record of human culture launched into outer space by NASA in 1977. I wanted this group exhibition to evoke a similar multi-vocal message by artists who share a human desire to be understood across time and space.”

“The exhibition’s theme and international checklist touches on aspects of culture and human achievement that unite communities across the globe,” says the Thoma Foundation’s Director, Holly Harrison.

The exhibition was curated from the Thoma Foundation’s artwork loan program, which sends artworks to regional and public museums in the US. Comprising over 300 artworks from the 1960s to present, the Foundation’s collection is dedicated, in part, to supporting digital, video and new media art.

Image credit: Lee Nam Lee, Cartoon Folding Screen II, 2010, five-channel digital video with sound on 5 LED monitors in custom frames with custom electronics


Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
October 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022

Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
February 10, 2023 – May 14, 2023

Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
June 17, 2023 – September 9, 2023

Pensacola Museum of Art, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
September 29, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
February 19, 2024 – June 2, 2024

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation recognizes the power of the arts to challenge and shift perceptions, spark creativity, and connect people across cultures. The Foundation lends and exhibits artworks and supports pivotal initiatives in the arts, providing grants to nonprofit organizations whose innovative projects and original ideas will advance scholarship in the arts and rural education initiatives. The Foundation is headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth.