Interdisciplinary artist Tobias Fike has collaborated on two exciting projects for the Biennial of the Americas. The Denver-based biennial is an international festival of art, culture, and ideas, that inspires critical thinking and promotes action, opened this week, with city-wide events, exhibitions, and programming featuring leading artists, architects, and thinkers.
Beach Ball Collision Test, documented above, is a collaboration between Fike and sculptor Matthew Harris, created for the group show, First Draft, which is part of the exhibition Draft Urbanism. For the performance and its accompanying single-channel video, Fike and Harris catapult beach balls toward each other, which hit with a resounding clap. The work explores the contrast between play and the absurd, with notions of masculinity, and the violence often associated with adversarial exercises.
Fike’s second project for the biennial is called, The Butterfly Effect: All the Days, All Our Actions. A collaboration with artist Alvin Gregorio, this commissioned project addresses the concept of the butterfly effect and the sometimes unintended consequences of our actions. Featuring a butterfly nesting area, and serving as a stage for performances throughout the duration of the biennial, the project reminds both speakers and audience members of the potential scope of impact, both good and bad, from small actions.
Please visit the Draft Urbanism page for more information about the arts programming of the biennial, and the Biennial of the Americas website for more information about this summerlong event.
Regan Rosburg’s exhibition Maelstrom was featured in Art Ltd. magazine as a Critic’s Pick, with critic Michael Paglia noting, “One standout feature of the works is Rosburg’s delicate touch in her drafting, which when combined with the gauzy effects of the resins give the paintings the substantiality of gossamer.”
A selection of works by Laura Ball featured in her winter exhibition at the gallery, Minotaur, have been added to the collection of the Denver Art Museum. A gift of the Eleanor and Henry Hitchcock Charitable Foundation, Collection 1, and Zanesville Mandala, were formally added to the museum’s permanent collection.
The Denver Art Museum, founded in 1893, sits in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood, with a building complex of over 350,000 square feet. The museum’s permanent collection comprises more than 70,000 works of art, divided between nine collections.
“When you enter your local supermarket, the door will most likely slide open automatically, welcoming you as it senses your presence. There’s nothing remarkable about that, you’re accustomed to the simple technology of motion sensors. What is remarkable is that technological fixtures such as motion sensors have become so ubiquitous that we scarcely notice them anymore. They are a part of your daily routine, a simple and unnoticed interaction with technology. It is that subtle relationship between man and machine that new media artist Michael Theodore explores in his solo exhibition organism/mechanism currently showing at David B. Smith Gallery in Denver.
At the entrance of the gallery stands the monumental sculptural piece, endo/exo (2013). Spanning most of the length of the darkened lobby and rising from ceiling to floor, a flow of ambient LED light reflects off organic clumps of yarn creating a James Turrell-like illuminated atmosphere. However, moving closer to the piece, one is able to see how it departs from traditional light and space work when rows of rods begin rotating in response to the presence of the viewer. endo/exo is similar in design to many of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s pieces that also utilize motion sensors to create kinetic sculpture. However, Theodore’s work ventures further into traditional media in addition to the technological formats. This creates an environment that enhances sensual perception through the use of light and sound as well as movement.
Further in the gallery, there are ten abstract works on paper with a very organic feel to them. Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that the lines are actually perfectly inscribed, created by an automatic drawing machine programed to produce patterns so complex as to appear organic. Underneath these lines, Theodore plays with the tension between man and machine by hand-painting delicate color fields that glow through the machine made line work. In addition, there are three sharply produced digital videos with accompanying video stills. Each video is a digital environment that mimics water, ice and clouds, organic forms that become abstracted in a digital world. They were created using software, but there is something organic and comforting about watching the gently oscillating waves of a digital ocean or a spinning cloud-like formation.
All of the works in the show explore the synthesis between the machine made and organic forms. However, it is when Theodore is creating immersive interactive environments that the artist is at his best. By blending technological tools with our biological perceptions, Theodore is opening up a world of new possibilities within the viewer/object relationship.”
“…It all fits together snugly under the banner organism/mechanism,” the show’s overall title. Theodore is exploring the intersection of technology and humanity. He’s letting the machines in for art’s sake, letting them work his hand and sometimes lead it. Are the machines taking over? Definitely not, but they are moving things forward. The technology makes it all new, the human touch keeps it interesting.”
Paul Jacobsen’s upcoming exhibition at the gallery, Orgone, is featured in the March issue of American Art Collector. The exhibition, which opens Thursday, March 28, includes a series of largescale paintings, as well as charcoal drawings.
From American Art Collector:
Jacobsen strives to build upon the German romantics or Hudson River School artist and the Pre-Raphaelites who questioned the legitimacy and value of technology. While maintaining the Hudson River School theory that America’s landscape was a “new Eden,”—pristine, untouched beauty—Jacobsen creates his landscapes questioning the necessity for technology and industrialization.
“David B. Smith represents some of the most engaging artists on the international scene, bringing their work to Denver at his LoDo headquarters. Smith is plugged in worldwide, but his local influence is serious; no other commercial gallery in Colorado offers a more comprehensive take on what gets shown and sold in the broad world of contemporary art. Smith’s show of Gregory Euclide’s feral dioramas was a highlight of last fall. Look for work by Paul Jacobsen and Ryan McLennan, as well.
What’s next: Cole Sternberg’s Kafka-inspired exhibit of installations, photography and painting is another don’t-miss show at Smith. Through March 23.”
A series of Kim Keever works are on display at the Metro State Denver Center for Visual Arts (CVA) for their exhibition, Semblance, celebrating the Month of Photography Denver.
From the CVA: Semblance presents lens and time-based works that share the elements of performance, ritual and illusion. Artists Sama Alshaibi, Neil Chowdhury, Kim Keever, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Laura Shill, and Janaina Tschäpe explore ambiguous boundaries between the real and the imagined. Whether at first cloaked and later revealed, or simply drawing us into an enigmatic narrative without clear linear progression, the photographs and video works navigate a reality not clearly identified.
Semblance runs through April 13, 2013; please visit the CVA website for more information.