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Indepth Arts News:

"Technics: Baubles or Ballast - Five Installations"
2001-03-31 until 2001-05-06
Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery
Keene, NH, USA United States of America

The interplay between new technologies and art is explored in this exhibition. Technics: Baubles or Ballast invites viewers to consider whether art created with new technologies is meant to be transitory or permanent and what affect it will have on our culture, our aesthetics, and on our lives.

The Technics exhibit examines this question in five different installations. The works include:

o Instrument for a Mediated Terrain, an installation in which visitors activate robots to interact in a moss garden by Jennifer Hall and Blyth Hazen;
o Algebra Drawings, an interactive computer program which explores the visual language of artist Blyth Hazen;
o Dichroic glass sculptures by Ray Howlett;
o Works on Paper by Richard J. Linke, digital printmaking by Singer Editions;
o Crossing Over: Where Art and Science Meet, images by Rosamond Wolff Purcell from the book of the same name by Stephen Jay Gould;
o Keene State College campus maps created from satellite images by students of Klaus Bayr, KSC geography professor.

The exhibit, organized by Maureen Ahern, director of the Thorne gallery, will open with a reception on Friday, March 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. hosted by Friends of the Thorne. Artists Jennifer Hall and Blyth Hazen will give a presentation about their piece, Instrument for a Mediated Terrain during the reception.

The Technics exhibit is presented in conjunction with the 2001 Boston Cyberarts Festival, April 21-May 6 at McCormick Gallery in the Boston Architectural Center. The festival features more than 30 visual arts exhibitions scheduled throughout the Boston area and beyond.

The Thorne gallerys Technics exhibit is sponsored by Omega Optical of Brattleboro, Vt., and Diversified Computers in Keene.

Friends of the Thorne will present educational tours of the exhibit for regional school children April 2-18. Three time slots are available each day: 9-10:15 a.m.; 10:45 a.m.-noon; and 12:30-1:45 p.m. The program includes a 30-minute guided tour of the gallery and a 30-minute art activity, which is age specific for elementary and middle school students. Older groups may forgo the art activity in favor of an extended gallery visit. The program is free but pre-registration is necessary. Call Meg Kidd, the education program coordinator, at 358-2719.

Each installation in the Technics exhibit explores a different technological avenue artists have chosen to express their creativity.

Instrument for a Mediated Terrain, created by Jennifer Hall and Blyth Hazen, is an installation in which visitors activate robots in a moss garden.

Hall, who has a home in Jaffrey, is an associate professor of environmental design at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She calls her work new media art and designed the moss garden with New Hampshire residents in mind. As everything gets tarred over theyre trying to create a balance with nature, stated Hall in a September 2000 article in the Boston Globe, which announced she had won the first Rappaport Prize of $20,000, the largest public annual award to an individual artist in Massachusetts.

Hall also is founding director of Do While Studio, a Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the fusion of art and technology. Hazen teaches graduate level courses in new media art to educators at the studio.

Algebra Drawings is an interactive computer program which explores the visual language of Hazen, who has worked with interactive digital media since 1986. Visitors activate her animated drawings by touching a computer screen.

Years of mark making, extensive reading on chaos and complexity theories, and everyday mathematics came together for me in this project, which I consider to be a sketch book for my traditional studio work, explains Hazen, who is trained and experienced in both traditional painting and the production of electronic media-related art.

Dichroic glass sculptures are the work of Ray Howlett from Los Angeles, Calif., considered the father of dichroism, an original American art movement that uses dichroic interference light filters developed for the aerospace industry to isolate and measure wavelengths of light. A dichroic coating on clear glass looks like a colored transparent mirror; Howlett uses many pieces to form sculptures, some as tall as 56 inches, to create grand illusions.

Looking inside the sculpture is like looking through a window into a fourth dimension. says Howlett. Each transparent side of the sculpture has only one created light image. The other images you see are not real, but are reflected optical illusions.

[Jackie, on the description above, I changed the first words into a complete sentence to be consistent with the first few descriptions. Id suggest doing that with the next two also, or changing them all to be fragments.]

Works on Paper by Richard J. Linke showcases digital printmaking by Singer Editions, a Boston-based fine art printmaker. Linke is one of 20 contemporary photographers whose work was part of a 1998 exhibition of printmaking by Singer Editions. Excerpts from this exhibition were included in the Boston Cyber Arts Festival in July 1999. Linkes photographs focus on birds; each print details a part of the animal, such as the feather pattern of a wing.

The book Crossing Over: Where Art and Science Meet matches photographs by Rosamond Wolff Purcell with text by science writer Stephen Jay Gould. The exhibit will display selections from the book, illustrating the complementary ways that art and science can approach the same subject.

Keene State College campus maps, created from satellite images by Klaus Bayrs geography students, deals with a similar theme of how satellite views of the world from space change our perception of reality.

The educational program, reception, and exhibit are free. Located on Wyman Way on the Keene State campus, the gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The gallery is open only when Keene State College is in session. It is accessible to people with disabilities.

Ray Howlett
Reconstructionism Rhythm,
56 tall, dichroic glass sculpture

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