Galleries, Film

Mat Collishaw (UK), The Centrifugal Soul (2017)
Jim Campbell (USA), Exploded View Birds (2010)
Kathy Hinde (UK), Piano Migrations (2010)
Davide Quayola (Italy), Natures Series, (2009 - 2010)

Opening Reception August 4, 7:00 -9:00 pm
Kathy Hinde(UK) Artist Talk 7:00pm - 7:30pm

On flows, measurement, emptiness and illusion.

The struggle to subdue and measure nature is deeply rooted in Western thought. Nature and the ideal garden have been used throughout art history to convey our quest for power and nature’s compliance. How will nature, humankind and technology coexist in the future? This exhibition gathers together a series of exquisite video, electronic media and sound works from four internationally acclaimed artists.

This exhibition deals with movement, measurement and illusion. It captures fleeting migratory, genetic, programmed movements & computations flowing between the natural and technological realms. In each work a transfiguration takes place. Depending on our viewpoint we will recognize hauntingly familiar moments of animated, naturalistic movement, behavior & sound; followed by the realization of some underlying mechanical or technological control or matrix.

Mat Collishaw’s work, The Centrifugal Soul, has been described as a fantastical combination of illusion and haunting reality. In an enclosed room we are presented with an early Victorian, pre-film, construction for simulating animation. The sculptural zoetrope spins to create the illusion of natural behavior through the use of rapid rotation and stroboscopic light. Mating Birds and Flowers perform a dance of unsettling beauty. Working with evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, the artist has created a work that is concerned with surface but has at the centre a void, emptied of meaning. Miller has postulated that the origins of art derive from our natural instincts of courtship and reproduction. The dancing birds of paradise, bowerbirds and flowers in the sculpture endlessly repeat a series of seductive routines. Not only do they entice and trick the viewer into entering their illusory world, but their aesthetic beauty comments on how humanity has an unquenchable thirst for visual stimulation.

Jim Campbell is similarly interested in the void, absence and movement. His work explores what might happen when you remove all the details: how much or how little information is required for comprehension? From most perspectives this LED matrix appears as a random array of blinking lights. But from a privileged vantage point, things suddenly shift into focus: moving shapes that are barely decipherable to the eye become strangely comprehensible to the mind: the ghostly migration of birds in flight.

Absence and migration flows inform Kathy Hinde’s work. The shadowy video documentation of migrating swallows alights on an stepped array of electrical wires. She has inserted small, technological devices into a piano soundboard hanging in the gallery. The projected shadows of the absent birds triggers each device, resulting in a delicate and discordant score of random notes. The migratory movements of the birs and the resulting music shifts between the illusory and the real.

The Natures series by Davide Quayola, has been described by Sabine Bors as vibrant, immaterial and contingent. The movement and behaviour of plants is interpreted through precise measurement and sound, creating a synthetic order based on the ‘clinamen’, the unpredictable swerve of atoms, once seen as the origin of life. This ‘swerving’ was once thought to provide the free will observed in living things. Computer-generated elements interpreting plant behaviour may at first seem to divide ‘the natural’ and ‘the artificial’, the organic and the code. Digital counter-points move constantly in flow and coalesce to achieve synthesis based on some derivative force of nature and code. In Natures, the entanglement of information and senses is not a static envelope but a mutually inclusive, virtual and indeterminate relation.