Ocula reviews The National 2021: New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

3 Jun 2021

Caroline Rothwell is part of The National 2021: New Australian Art, now showing at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia until 22 August.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s (MCA) exhibition is generous. With a variety of artist showcasing more than one work from each of the 13 artists, often dispersed throughout the space. Caroline Rothwell’s digital animations Carbon Emission 6, apertureCarbon Emission 7 (both 2021), and Carbon Emission 5, Constructivist Rococo (2020), appears in three locations around the gallery, cleverly reproducing the artist’s concerns with climate change via their media. The animations started as paintings on glass made with carbon emissions collected from car exhaust pipes and soot from the 2019–2020 bushfires in Australia.

Caroline Rothwell’s Infinite Herbarium is also shown at The Museum of Contemporary Art as part of The National 2021. Infinite Herbarium is developed from an experiment in generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) where plant classification, machine-learning and historical botanical imagery combine to create new forms of morphing botanical specimens.

Curated by Rachel Kent.

Caroline Rothwell, Infinite Herbarium (2021) (still). Single-channel digital video made in collaboration with Google Creative Lab, high definition, colour, sound. Exhibition view: The National 2021: New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2021; Courtesy of the artist. Photo:  Jacquie Manning.