D. Graham Burnett


Burnett taught at MoMA in the fall of 2013 — as part of the Contemporary Issues curriculum of the reanimated “People’s Art Center.” He lead a workshop/seminar entitled “Making the Invisible Visible” — a continuation of the Artist as Researcher program curated by Alison Burstein. See more here.

Burnett was in Istanbul from November 30th to December 4, as a guest at Spot Atöyeler. A short, collaborative sifting of the problem of temporary metempsychosis took place. On December 2nd, Burnett gave a talk entitled “The Problem of the Luminous Nose: Reflections and Deflections.”

On Friday, 29 November, Burnett ran a set of attention workshops (with Sal Randolph) at the Institut für Raumexperimente, an Olafur Eliasson Studio project, and part of the Universität der Künste Berlin.

Burnett served as one of the “interpreters” in Tino Seghal’s “This Situation” (2007) which was installed/performed in Princeton in the week of November 18-22; the project was a joint effort by the Lewis Center and IHUM.

Burnett and friends did a performance lecture at the Dairy Art Center in London on the 25th of October, alongside their show on Aldous Huxley. The Order of the Third Bird has work in the exhibition, which gets discussed here.

On the 24th of October Burnett led a workshop in the “100 Hours” project at University College London. This was an interdisciplinary experiment in the study of material culture, and the brainchild of Leonie Hannan and Kate Smith. Participants have posted some reflections on the occasion.

Burnett gave a pair of lectures at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, in Oslo, on the 21st and 22nd of October. Details here.


Los Angeles enjoyed a week of Moby-Dick madness in early October—find details here.  As part of the festivities, Burnett presented (with the primatologist Amy Parish) at the LA Public Library on October 3rd: “How Scientists Came to Love the Whale”; and then on October 5th, he performed in David Schweitzer’s “My Moby Dick” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica — info here, and a write up of the performance here.


On the 27th of September, Burnett moderated a discussion of “The Encyclopedic Palace” — this year’s Venice Biennial.  The event celebrated the US release of the catalog for the exhibition, which was a Cabinet project.  Participants included Lynne Cooke, Hal Foster, and Massimiliano Gioni, the curator. See video of the event here.


The Creative Destruction Consultancy is back, and participated in “Pataphysics: A Theoretical Exhibition” at the Sean Kelly gallery — Burnett and colleagues (in white lab coats) offered free consultations on the evening of September 12th. See more here  and here. See here for a short feature on the work of the CDC.

On September 11th, Burnett presented a short talk entitled “Money, Teeth, and Language” at the Bard Graduate Center, where he is a fellow for 2013-2014.


Cabinet’s summer 2013 issue is out; the theme is Money. Check out Burnett’s piece on the evolution of currencies here.


This past summer, some of Burnett’s work on human-dolphin relations was featured in The Whole Earth exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.



On July 27 Burnett participated in the Pedagogies of Attention workshop at The Emily Harvey Foundation a project hosted by the Order of the Third Bird.

Burnett ratcheted on—for all the whale lovers out there—about the finicky bits of dead cetaceans at the Smithsonian in early June, in connection with the new exhibition “Whales: Bones to Book.”

Burnett and friends were back at Mildred’s Lane this summer, August 5 to 11. More information here. The week finished with a performative exercise in historical conjuration.  See here for one account of the doings — from “The Great God Pan is Dead”.


Cabinet commissioned and edited the essays for the catalog of the 2013 Venice Biennale, and Burnett did an essay for the volume on the concept of the “Nondescript” in nineteenth-century systematics and taxonomy — and there is also some stuff in there on Charles Waterton, a very strange man.  The catalog was released at the opening of the exhibition at the end of May, and it looked great.

On the 25th of May, Burnett presented a talk entitled “Knowledge, Networks, and Power” at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut, as part of Homeworks 6.  The session (with Turkish artist Burak Arikan) was curated by Zeynep Oz, and made up one episode of the “Plastic Veins” project. See more here.

On May 7, Burnett presented a short talk titled “The Metachrotic Swan Song” for the opening of School of Death, an educational institution dedicated to exploring the relationship between death and the examined life, organized by Cabinet magazine and philosopher Simon Critchley, at the gallery Family Business in Manhattan. More here.


Burnett was seconded to the Creative Destruction Consultancy, which held an open-house at the New Museum’s Ideas City festival on Saturday, May 4. More details here.



At the beginning of May, Burnett and the artist Natalie Jeremijenko presented a project on the history (and future) of plant acupuncture at IHUM’s big flora shindig.

Burnett hosted an exhibition/symposium at MoMA on “artistic research” on Thursday, April 18, at 12:30 p.m., featuring research-artists Sal Randolph, Steve Rowell, Brooke Singer, and Alexandra P. Spaudling. More here.

On Friday, April 12, Burnett participated in the symposium “What Is Cosmopolitical Design?” at the Princeton School of Architecture, giving a talk entitled “The Amphibious Laboratory: Think Tank for a Cetacean Nation.” For a full description and schedule, click here.

On Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., Burnett presented “A Subway Death: Reflections in the Dark,” the “Year in Faith” lecture, at Ascension Church in upper Manhattan. For more information, see here.

Burnett and conspirators were in residence at the Haut Ecole D’Art et de Design, Geneva, March 18–24, running a series of attention workshops for ESTAR-SER.

Burnett spoke at “Radical Enlightenment: A Symposium on Cybernetics and the Soul,” at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, on March 15. The symposium took place in conjunction with the Joachim Koester exhibition “Reptile Brain or Reptile Body, It’s Your Animal.” For more, click here.

On Friday, March 8, at Columbia, Burnett was one of four speakers on a panel entitled “Climate Change, Methods, and Practice: A Conversation across the Social Sciences and Humanities.” It went from 1 to 3 p.m. and was at Columbia’s Morningside Heights Campus. For more, click here.

On Friday, March 1, Burnett presented “Critical Play: Gaming, Reading, Writing,” as part of the panel “Form: Aesthetic, Social, Biological” in the symposium “Representing Complexity: Intersections of Art and Science” at the University of Maryland. For more information, click here.

Burnett kicked off a big whale session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston on Sunday, February 17—a video of the presentation is featured on the conference website here.


This spring semester, Burnett and Sal Randolph are teaching a program seminar on “Attention” for IHUM at Princeton. Click here for more.


Burnett was one of fourteen participants in a trial of Cabinet magazine, which took place at the NYPL on Wednesday, January 30, at 6 p.m. The trial coincided with the publication of the magazine’s recent anthology, Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine (in which Burnett is also featured; more on the book below). For more on the event, click here. The Wall Street Journal previewed the evening here.


On Friday and Saturday, January 25 and 26, Burnett will be speaking at the third roundtable of the ongoing event “The Fifth Geneva Convention: Nature, Conflict, and International Law in the Anthropocene.” The roundtable goes all day on Friday and Saturday at the Centre for Research Architecture in London (full address here); for more on the event, go here.

In conjunction with the exhibition “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos” at the New Museum, Burnett and others presented “An Afternoon of Fauna: From Ants to Whales.” It was the afternoon of Saturday, January 12, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the New Museum. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

On Saturday, January 12, at 7:30 p.m., Burnett moderated “In the Valley of the Uncanny: Humans and Humanoids,” presentations and a panel featuring artist Laurie O’Brien, filmmaker Allison de Fren, neuroscientist Asif Ghazanfar, and artist John Bell. The event took place at Union Docs, in Brooklyn; for more information, click here.


Burnett is featured, alongside an extensive roster of other artists, writers, and scientists, in Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine. The over-500-page anthology takes the form of > an illustrated encyclopedia, with idiosyncratic entries including Addiction, Animal Architecture, Goalkeeping, Micronation, Otolith, Sandal, Worlding, and Zoosemiotics. For more (including a link to buy with a 25 percent discount!), go here. The publication continues the conversation begun at a symposium of the same name held in April 2011 at Princeton. For more on the symposium, see here.