Thomas Mulcaire was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1971. He began a Fine Arts degree at Wits University, and then travelled abroad before returning to complete a BA degree in History of Art and Literature at Wits in 1993. He now lives in Ubatuba, Brazil. Mulcaire’s work takes many different forms and crosses into film, photography, sculpture, and installation. In particular, he has worked on a number of collaborations that interrogate the assumed limits of authorship in relation to the artwork. One such project is the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation (ITASC), which he founded in 2005 with Marko Peljhan.
ITASC is described on their website as ‘a decentralized network of individuals and organisations working collaboratively in the fields of art, engineering and science on the interdisciplinary development and deployment of renewable energy, waste recycling systems and sustainable architecture to enable the production and distribution of open-format, open-source remote field research in Antarctica and the Arctic. ITASC is a lichen-like structure sharing and integrating local knowledge, resources and skills across seven continents in order to symbiotically engage with the air, ocean, earth and space commons.’ In February 2009, Mulcaire, Ntsikelelo Ntshingila, and Pol Taylor installed ICEPAC (the ITASC Catabatic Experimental Platform for Antarctic Culture) at Vesleskarvet Nunatak in the Dronning Maud Land sector of Antarctica, the world’s first mobile polar research base to be powered entirely by solar and wind energy. Such projects illustrate Mulcaire’s interest in various forms of networks – spatial, human, technological, and cellular, as well as his concern with the way in which we inhabit and make use of the limited resources of our planet.
Mulcaire has exhibited at the Saõ Paulo, Sydney, and Ushuaia biennales. He has worked as an exhibitions co-coordinator (notably for the Johannesburg Biennale in 1995), an assistant curator at Documenta, founder and director of the ICA in Cape Town, as well as a curator for projects in Kassel, New York, Saõ Paulo, and Perth. In 2008 and 2009 he exhibited his work at the Goodman Gallery Johannesburg and Cape Town. This year he participates in Unwetter at the Akademie der Kunst in Berlin, CUE at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Halakasha at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg.