Born in Cleveland and raised in Miami, Daniel Arsham is an American artist. After having attended several classes at the Cooper Union in New York City he understood that architecture was the most attractive element for his art.
Architecture is actually a prevalent subject throughout his work; environments with eroded walls and stairs going nowhere, landscapes where nature overrides structures, and a general sense of playfulness within existing architecture are some of his main subjects. Arsham makes architecture do things it is not supposed to do, mining everyday experience for opportunities to confuse and confound our expectations of space and form.
Although his interest for architecture, Daniel Arsham is mostly known for his objects cast in volcanic ash - as if they were found on some future archeological site. They are called "Future Relics". Daniel Arsham’s "Future Relics" series is one of the most enigmatic and compelling ongoing art projects. Arsham’s artistic oeuvre primarily consists of taking objects that we do not use anymore — old clocks, phones, cameras or music cassettes — and recasts them as archaeological artifacts, as if they were excavated by scientists in some distant, dystopian future.
The packaging of the relics is done in a very particular way. The design of the packaging looks almost like something you would find in a museum setting, but a back-of-house museum setting, where they would keep artifacts and relics. They would be numbered, with information about the weight, provenance and where they were discovered.
In 2004, legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham asked Arsham to create the stage design for his work eyeSpace.
To further expand the possibilities of spatial manipulation and collaboration, Arsham founded Snarkitecture in 2007 with partner Alex Mustonen to serve new and imaginative purposes. Their multidisciplinary practice has included collaborations with designers, as well as a complete line of functional design objects.
Arsham’s most recent enterprise is production company Film The Future, founded in 2014. Productions to date include Arsham’s 9 part science fiction film series Future Relic and some more short films.
Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Bienniale in Athens, Greece, The New Museum In New York, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California and Carré d’Art de Nîmes, France among others. A first monograph of Arsham’s work was published by the French Centre National des arts plastiques and a second one was published by Galerie Perrotin in 2012.