Group Show "(inter)Facing: Fall 2019 Digital Media Art Faculty Exhibition" at the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery

Aug 2, 2019

The Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery at  San José State University

proudly presents "(inter)Facing: Fall 2019 Digital Media Art Faculty Exhibition"
A Group Show Featuring Artwork by Andrew Blanton, Steve Durie, Rhonda Holberton, g. craig hobbs, Carrie Hott, James Morgan, and Lark VCR, curated by Aaron Wilder

The Ground was Never Stable in the First Place by Rhonda Holberton

Rhonda Holberton
The Ground was Never Stable in the First Place, 2015
Single Channel Video Projection (Looping) and Acrylic Sheet
Photo Courtesy Rhonda Holberton


August 27-September 20, 2019

Exhibition Walk-Through with Artists: 
Tuesday August 27, 2019, 5:00pm-6:00pm

Opening Reception: 
Tuesday August 27, 2019, 6:00pm-7:30pm


Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery

One Washington Square

San José, CA 95192

The Department of Art and Art History is delighted to present this periodic opportunity to view recent works by current faculty in the area of Digital Media Art (DMA). Although displaying a wide range of media, style, and technique, exhibiting faculty members share an interest in working with digital media and a devotion to teaching. This exhibition is both provocative and stimulating, revealing both a variety of aesthetics, materials, and techniques as well as a cohesion of concern about the human experience and its relationship to technology, notions of reality, and interactions on interpersonal and societal levels.

Andrew Blanton
is a transdisciplinary artist combining classical percussion, new media art, and creative coding to produce realtime sonic and visual instruments. For this exhibition, Blanton is creating new work by exploring the liminal space between the fine art world, elements of popular culture, the human sensorium, and the subversion of commercial, cutting edge technologies. The resulting work, developed in the confluence of art and science, provocatively examines contemporary digital trends through a critical lens.

Steve Durie is an artist, lecturer, digital media producer, and designer who works on projects including, but not limited to, installation, web art, music, and performance. In Off in the Distance, Durie creates a sense of presence for viewers through an interactive video installation. Participants are invited to use the motion gestures of interaction we have become accustomed to and have adopted from machines. Off in the Distance interfaces with the coded relationship with interactive art and its audience as well as the larger shift in machines from simple interactive systems to more sophisticated agents that simulate the feeling of presence and being observed.

Rhonda Holberton hijacks existing technologies and integrates them into traditional methods of art production to create works recovering the parts of human experience lost when absolute truth is thought to be found solely in scientific methodologies. The exhibition includes Holberton’s sculpture Water Striders, a cast silicon blanket made using medical simulation techniques mimicking the texture, elasticity, and density of human skin atop a human form cast in foam, as well as her video installation The Ground was Never Stable in the First Place, a depiction of a 3D scan of the artist’s body in various forms of body protection that navigates an infinite, but invisible virtual environment.

g. craig hobbs addresses themes at the intersection of nature, culture, and technology in the mediums of video, sound, and interactive programming. hobbs’ practice emphasizes interfacing with artists, scientists, students, and creative communities across cultures and borders. In Mayabheda, hobbs reflects on his travels, studies, and artistic practice in India. By rendering his experiences of the interdependence between people, places, cultures, space, and time in pixel form, hobbs brings awareness to both contemporary manifestations and ancient relics of Hindustani and Buddhist cultures and art while revealing the radical multiplicity of lived experience and everyday life in India.

Carrie Hott is an interdisciplinary artist with a curiosity about what parts of our infrastructural systems are unseen versus visible and how the invisible mediates our collective experiences and perceptions. With an artistic practice informed by research, Hott intends to create a critical lens through which to find origins, edges of systems, and unexpected tangents that allow new angles of a subject to emerge. In Lamps that See Us, Hott subverts the form of newsprint retail advertising to question the ubiquity of networked, smart lighting technology as well as their relationship to being a proxy for human presence and to security surveillance through reading, sensing, and seeing in open space.

James Morgan curates art and games in physical and simulated spaces. His work involves social interaction, coded culture, and democratic structures in game-spaces and simulations. In Arido Taurajo (Taurajo in the Barrens), Morgan has collaborated with Maya Ackerman, Christopher Cassion, Chantal Harvey, Matteo Leva, David Loker, and Nicolas Mauthes to create a Machine Learning algorithm called Roboccini who writes melodies in the style of “the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi” Giacomo Puccini. Their work is a reflection upon life experiences and desires of real people transposed into the game environment of World of Warcraft.

Lark VCR (which stands for “Virtually Conflicted Reality”) works in video, interactive media, critical design, and performance to queer possible applications of developing technology. This exhibition includes VCR’s participatory personal ads website, which invites people to propose alternative visions for chatbots, sex robots, and virtual / augmented / mixed reality experiences that challenge those being produced by media and market forces. Anyone can participate on the live website. In writing a personals ad, participants are asked to explore their desire and imagine radical possibilities for virtual/machine intimacy.

All of these artists have individually received noteworthy acclaim for their works. As a group, they combine significant successes in regional, national, and international exhibitions, public art commissions, and museum collections, as well as numerous grants and awards. We are delighted to have this opportunity to feature their experimental approaches to the intersection of art and technology as well as their craftsmanship and vision in this special display showcasing the diverse mediums and styles of our DMA faculty.

In conjunction with the opening of this exhibition, exhibiting artists will speak about their work, its context, and its development as part of a walk-through in the Thompson Gallery, which will be held 5:00pm-6:00pm on August 27. This presentation and the following opening reception, 6:00pm-7:30pm, are free and open to the public.

Curated by Aaron Wilder

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