James "Yaya" Hough, A Gift to the Hill District, 2021–2022, photo: Sean Eaton

Offsite Projects & Commissions
58th Carnegie International

June 4, 2022—Sept 24, 2022 ▪ Various Locations

In the lead-up to the opening day of the 58th Carnegie International on September 24, 2022, three artist-commissioned projects are being realized throughout the city of Pittsburgh. These projects include an augmented tree that owns its land created by Berlin-based group terra0; a mural in the Hill District by Pittsburgh-born and based artist James “Yaya” Hough; and four billboards on Route 28 by artist Tony Cokes.

Tony Cokes

Tony Cokes (b. 1956) will create new work for the Carnegie International on four digital billboards on Route 28 in Pittsburgh in addition to a video installed at Carnegie Museum of Art.

In Cokes’s signature style, the artist creates text-based moving and still image works featuring texts over multi-chromatic color blocks, usually accompanied by the sound of pop, experimental, industrial, and electronic music. The texts are fragments of speeches, writings, and lyrics collected from a range of sources, including politicians, comedians, and cultural theorists addressing a range of topics including racism, evil, imperialism, megalomania, and capital. Cokes surrounds audiences in a field of distraction and disjunction, fracturing and remixing language oversaturated by color and beats. This new commission will disperse his work both in and out of the museum, taking on a decentralized structure.

Tony Cokes lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he serves as Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. His work will be included in the Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet As It’s Kept, opening on April 6, 2022, and a solo show will open at Haus der Kunst, Munich in June 2022.

A blue glowing wall that reads "Disco isn't dead. It has gone to war."
Installation view of Tony Cokes: To Live As Equal, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2020. Photo: Tom Janssen.

James “Yaya” Hough

As a part of the 58th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh-born and based artist James “Yaya” Hough (b. 1974) has painted A Gift to the Hill District, a mural in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District, a cultural and artistic hub where Hough was born.

In preparation for the mural, Hough, in collaboration with Carnegie Museum of Art and Nafasi, a community development initiative in the Hill District that utilizes art as a vehicle, held community workshops to receive feedback and hear ideas from the community. The mural was dedicated during a public celebration on Saturday, July 30, 2022. This project expands on and continues Hough’s legacy of making art public to create common imaginaries.

Hough has recently worked on several high-profile projects with Mural Arts Philadelphia; was featured in the seminal exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration at MoMA PS1 in 2020; and opened a solo show at JTT gallery in New York in May 2021. Hough is known for his drawings that augment the absurdity of authority and confinement, nine of which the museum recently acquired in 2021. A selection of Hough’s works will be presented in the museum galleries during the Carnegie International.

James “Yaya” Hough, A Gift to the Hill District, 2021–2022, photo: Sean Eaton


terra0 is a Berlin-based group of developers, artists, and researchers exploring the creation of hybrid ecosystems in the technosphere. For the 58th Carnegie International, terra0 proposes an augmented tree that owns its land. Donated by the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, the tree will regulate and govern itself through a smart contract and issue certificates of care to the museum for the services that the latter will provide during its lifetime. While this work responds to broader environmental concerns, it is particularly relevant in Pennsylvania, which lost a large percentage of its forest to the logging industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

terra0 was developed by Paul Kolling, Paul Seidler, and Max Hampshire at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2015 and has exhibited at the Berlin Schinkel Pavillon, the Shed NYC, Chronus Art Center Shanghai, and the 17th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia, among others.

Terra0, Black Gum Tree, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, photo: Tom Little

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