Image: Katie Torn, Breathe Deep, 2014
Slipped Gears, a multimedia exhibition featuring the work of nine artists, opens in Bennington’s Usdan Gallery on Tuesday, September 16, at 6:30 pm.
The show offers challenging responses to a moment of tectonic cultural transition, when technology increasingly resides in and around us. The artists, many of whom have shown internationally, include Nick Hornby, Joon Oluchi Lee, Kristin Lucas, Rosa Menkman, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Katie Torn, Matias Viegener, and the collaborative duo of Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy called MSHR (biographies below). It is curated by Roddy Schrock, director of residencies and programs at Eyebeam, a leading art and technology center in Brooklyn, New York.
“This show asks tough questions about the emotional impact of accepting an ‘Internet-of-everything’ world wherein every gesture is analyzed by algorithms beyond our control,” says Schrock. “These artists are at the forefront of exploring, poetically, our relationship to emerging machinic systems.”
Schrock continues, “In a moment when systems and frameworks of machinic perfection are overlaid onto the messy and dense tangles of people, feelings, and objects that make up life, we can nearly feel the Internet in our bones.” In this show, the artists examine the thorny social and political realities of this moment: “We have given tacit acceptance to constant data-analysis, by one’s peers and by corporate interests, of nearly all physical activities; we have accepted a surveillance state at a scale once thought impossible; we assume massive debt while giving up on minimal home-ownership; we have gained the pleasures of instantaneous access with the price of a constant forgetfulness,” says Schrock.
“This show represents the leading edge of current artistic practice and continues Bennington’s history of providing fertile ground for creatives to present innovative and challenging new work,” said faculty member Robert Ransick, who organized the show. Slipped Gears ties to courses he is teaching this term, including Future Studio, Web as Artistic Platform, and Social Practices in Art. The exhibition is available for viewing Tuesdays – Saturdays, from 1-5 pm, thru Thursday, October 16. It is free and open to the public.
September 16, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Usdan Gallery, VAPA
October 14, 7:30 – 8:30 pm
Talk by Roddy Schrock, curator
About the artists
Nick Hornby is a British artist based in London whose sculptures emerge from the convergence of a postmodern historical perspective and cutting-edge digital technology. Using computer software, Hornby combines silhouettes sourced from art history to create three-dimensional works that, as the viewer moves around them, seem to take the shape of different well-known sculptures of the past.
Joon Oluchi Lee is the author of Lace Sick Bag (Publication Studio Portland, 2013). His writing and textual performances can be found on girlscallmurder.com and lipstickeater.blogspot.com. He is Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Creative Writing at Rhode Island School of Design, and divides his time between Brooklyn and Providence.
Kristin Lucas is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works between Austin, TX and New York, NY. Her work investigates the uncanny overlaps of virtual and lived realities, and the physical and psychological effects of technologies on perception, behavior, and identity and has been presented internationally at museums and galleries. She has taught in several art programs including Bard College and The University of Texas.
Rosa Menkman is a Dutch artist and theorist who likes to focus on visual artifacts created by accidents in both analogue and digital media. The visuals she makes are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback, and other forms of noise, emphasizing their positive consequences. Since 2007, she has been developing both performances and static work.
MSHR is a collaborative project by Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy based in Portland, OR. The duo produces sculptural synthesizers, ritualistic performances and installations that place the human body into a dynamic relationship with sound and light, generating expanded sensory experiences. MSHR emerged from the five-person art collective Oregon Painting Society in 2011 and has since exhibited and performed across the U.S. and Europe.
Jaakko Pallasvuo’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen, Kiasma Museum Of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Higher Pictures (NYC), W139 (Amsterdam), UCCA (Beijing), and Future Gallery (Berlin).
Roddy Schrock curates creative work that critically examines culture and art, and their relationship to emerging technologies. At Eyebeam, he runs and develops its programs and residencies, bringing together artists, designers, and technologists to engage the public through implementation of often challenging new works. He is also an active sound artist having worked in the Tokyo-based “noise unit” Tog for several years and studied electronic music at Mills College.
Katie Torn builds fantastical virtual sculptures using tools commonly employed in commercials and Hollywood films. Past exhibitions and screenings of her work took place at multiple museums and galleries. Torn was the 2013 “Visions” Fellow at Eyebeam and was recently a resident at The Institute of Electronic Arts, Alfred, NY.
Matias Viegener works solo and collaboratively in the fields of writing, visual art, and social practice. His new book, 2500 Random Things About Me Too, is published by Les Figues Press, and he’s the editor of I’m Very Into You, the correspondence of Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark, forthcoming on Semiotext(e). His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He teaches at CalArts and is a 2013 Creative Capital awardee.