Massive Work of Sentient Art Unveiled

Philip Beesley reaches up to activate sensors in “Amatria.” Photo by Amelia Herrick and Chris Meyer, IU Communications.

A living, protected space of vales, canopies, and membranes composed of hundreds of thousands of microprocessors, prototype cells, and gently swaying Mylar fronds.

This is the language used by Canadian artist and architect Philip Beesley to describe the enormous, seemingly living sculpture, “Amatria,” recently installed under the sunlit glass atrium on the fourth floor of Luddy Hall, the new home to most of the departments and programs in the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

View the original article by News at IU‘s Kevin Fryling.

The school officially unveiled the work of “sentient art” before a crowded audience at sunset April 11. The reveal, which featured flashing lights, dramatic music and comments from the artist and school leaders, took place during LuddyFest, a weeklong celebration that culminated in the building’s dedication ceremony April 13.

“Just like the Sample Gates are iconic of IU Bloomington, we expect ‘Amatria’ — with its unique combination of art, computing, architecture and technology — to become a symbol of our school and ‘renaissance engineering’ at IU,” said IU Distinguished Professor Katy Börner, who played the key role in bringing Beesley’s work to campus after meeting him at a conference in 2015.

It’s that vision of engineering — as a field that blends scientific and technical skill with creative thought and a foundation in the arts and humanities — that attracted Beesley to IU. An internationally known architect whose work has been featured at the prestigious Venice Biennale, as well as many other sites across the globe, Beesley is renowned for the use of cutting-edge technologies and materials — sensor arrays, 3-D printed materials and Internet-connected objects — to create enormous works of art that gently move or react as people pass near or through them.

“When people walk into the environment of this kind of sculpture, some reactions are quite anxious,” Beesley said. “But then the work starts to respond back — with small ripples of vibration and movement or gentle rustling sounds and billowing light — and those reactions quickly turn into a kind of curious and wondering conversation. People are invited to simply explore [the art] and discover their own relationships with it.”

During the past few years, Beesley has paid several visits to IU Bloomington to participate in behind-the-scenes preparations related to suspending a high-tech work of art composed of hundreds of thousands of custom parts from the glass atrium atop a four-story building. Most recently, he and colleagues from his Toronto-based studio were on-site to oversee the work of IU students and community volunteers, who played a key role in the sculpture’s creation and installation. IU students helped assemble the sculpture’s many highly intricate physical parts, wire electrical components and code systems that control how the work interacts with its environment.

Among the volunteers was Clara Fridman, a junior in the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering who participated in several sessions assembling various small pieces of the sculpture. A fan of Beesley’s work, she also took the opportunity to hear him and members of his studio speak at previous several visiting lectures at IU.

“I was thrilled to contribute to this amazing piece for our school,” she said. “Each small part of ‘Amatria’ is so complex that it takes the work of many people. Everyone was very helpful, and there were so many different tasks we could always switch things up. The whole experience was a great exercise in teamwork.”

Katherine Shanahan, a graduate student in the IU School of Education, also volunteered on “Amatria,” assembling the plastic “whiskers” with fluid-filled glass bulbs that hang in the work’s “grotto” area.

“I was excited to volunteer because I’m very interested in the intersection of art and technology in my graduate studies,” she said. “The notion of sentient and responsive architecture that mimics natural, biological and chemical systems is fascinating.”

By playing a role in the sculpture’s creation, Beesley said, IU students gained experience in wireless technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, sensors and other cutting-edge subjects. His studio has also designed software developer kits so students can create external components that interact with the art or visualize its activity.

Börner added that “Amatria” will convert the fourth floor of Luddy Hall into an “Internet of Things laboratory” as students learn to program devices that wirelessly communicate with the sculpture’s light, motion and sound sensors and the loudspeaker and motor actuators. By working on these projects, students will gain hands-on experience writing code that utilizes data from wireless-enabled devices — a highly applicable skill in today’s internet-connected world.

In addition to creating an artistic focal point for the building, the position of “Amatria” at the top of the central staircase in Luddy Hall is significant since the fourth floor houses the school’s intelligent systems engineering program. A hub of technology and creatively, the floor is also home to a large “maker space” with 3-D printers, circuit board soldering stations and other advanced fabrication tools. The sculpture’s presence in the center of the action will serve as a continual reminder of program’s guiding mission to create the “engineers of tomorrow,” fluent in art, science and technology.

“IU Bloomington is a leader in arts and humanities education, and the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering is inventing, implementing and optimizing the next generation of intelligent systems, such as smart cars, health devices and brain interfaces,” Börner said. “We hope the magnificent architecture of Luddy Hall, in combination with ‘Amatria,’ will inspire arts and humanities scholars from campus and beyond to visit our school, and fully engage with its faculty, staff and students.”

What’s In Your Bag?

Jordan Nelsen. Photo by Tim Brouk, IU Communications.

When Jordan Nelsen was a small child, she picked up a pencil and paper and began to draw, just like any kid.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI‘s Tim Brouk.

A few years later, Nelsen began drawing with a pen-shaped stylus, pen tablet, and laptop computer. Since elementary school, Nelsen has balanced digital drawing with “analog.” Now a senior in the Herron School of Art and Design and the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, Nelsen still carries a paper sketchbook, but the digital equipement takes up more room in her backpack.

With her left hand on hot keys for erasing and choosing different brushes in programs like ZBrush, Geomagic Design X, and Photoshop, Nelsen’s digital work has brought her high praise at Herron. She has assembled a portfolio of figurative fantasy pieces aimed at the video game industry.

Nelsen’s ability to translate her designs into 3-D pieces was honed through her classes as a Media Arts and Science (MAS) major at the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC), and through research projects under the guidance of Zebulun Wood, co-director of the MAS undergraduate program.

The anatomical foundation of her art talents has led to life-enhancing opportunities for dental patients. A summer-school informatics and computing class with School of Dentistry maxillofacial prosthodontics resident Dr. Travis Bellicchi led to more than a dozen facial prosthetic designs the last couple of years. A 2017 nose for a cancer patient, which took her only four hours to produce, made regional news.

“Depending on the case, they can take months to complete,” Nelsen explained. “But we scanned him, we designed it, and we had it on the 3-D printer ready to go for him the next day. It happened a lot quicker than everyone thought. It was a good feeling to get that done in an unprecedented amount of time.”

After seeing the widely spread pictures of the patient wearing her prosthetic design, Nelsen had a revelation on what her skills could do.

“It’s one thing to paint something for myself and feel really good about it,” said Nelsen. “It’s an entirely alien feeling to be able to say, ‘I made this thing that somebody is wearing to help improve their way of life.’ There is no feeling that’s like that.”

Set to graduate in May, Nelsen hopes to still pursue both gaming and prosthetics.

“I like to find a nice balance between the two,” Nelsen said, “from helping people and painting for myself as well.”

While she only needs three pieces of equipment to create a new video game character or new dentures to be installed into the zygomatic bone of a School of Dentistry patient, Nelsen’s backpack carries her latest work and her future career — or careers.

New Exhibit from IAHI Scholar-in-Residence Samuel E. Vázquez

IMMERSED is a group exhibition featuring works by contemporary visual artists whose creative processes reveal deeply rooted meanings through symbolism and narrative. The exhibition is organized and curated by Samuel E. Vázquez in collaboration with InCultur. Participating artists include Samuel E. Vázquez, Danicia Monét, Atsu Kpotufe, Elizabeth Bilbrey, Gary Gee, Shamira Wilson, Hector Del Campo, Maria Zepeda, Stephen Heathcock, and Heather Ward Miles.

According to Vázquez, “The main idea of IMMERSED is to share diverse expressions by featuring the works of artists whose focused studio practices are unique to each artist.” The title of the exhibition, which includes paintings, photographs, illustrations, and sculptures, “alludes to the immersive and continuous process of developing one’s voice.”

“This exhibition can speak to anyone interested in exploring, engaging, and interacting with the art and artists. It can also speak via the diverse global backgrounds of the featured artists. Through direct dialogue with the artists or the works, we can meaningfully engage in conversation while learning from one another. That’s the beauty of art – it speaks of and about life, making our collective human experience richer,” Vázquez said.

The exhibition, held at Butler University’s Clowes Memorial Hall, will open with a reception from 6:00-9:00 pm on Tuesday, March 20, and will close on April 23. This exhibition is presented by Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts Signature Series, which features internationally acclaimed guest artists brought to Butler University’s campus. For more details, including gallery hours and parking information, click here.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1970, Samuel E Vázquez is a visual artist working primarily in mixed media. His inspiration is rooted in the New York City subway style writings of the 1970s and 80s, along with the works of Ed Clark, Jackson Pollock, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Vázquez’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and cultural institutions. He has lectured on the history of style writing in venues such as the Arts Council of Indianapolis, New York City College of Technology-CUNY, Indianapolis Public Library Central Branch, Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler Arts Center, and Indianapolis Museum of Art. Vázquez is a 2017 Scholar In Residence at the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute and a 2017-18 Creative Renewal Arts Fellow of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Three Decades Later: Art and Race in Indianapolis

A public conversation with local artists about art and race in Indianapolis takes its start from the 1989 essay “Ethos and Creativity: The Impulse as Malleable” by Indianapolis writer Mari Evans. This essay combines autobiography, history, and conceptual analysis to relate local conditions to a broader understanding of the significance of artistic creation. Join a panel of Indianapolis artist to consider the essay’s continuing relevance to art, justice, and community.

The conversation will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall, 735 West New York Street. Visitor parking is available in the Sports Complex Parking Garage, 875 West New York Street.

Panelists will include Phyllis Boyd, an urban designer and former gallery director who trained as a landscape architect and now serves as executive director of Groundwork Indy; David Hoppe, writer, editor, and playwright who edited the book in which Evans’ essay originally appeared; Adrian Matekja, Poet Laureate of Indiana and Ruth Lilly Professor at Indiana University; Carl Pope, a critically acclaimed, Indianapolis-based conceptualist whose museum installations and public art interventions explore the intersections between conceptual art, American Literature, hidden histories, and social justice; and LaShawnda Crowe Storm, a visual artist, activist, and community builder who uses the making of art to create space and place for difficult conversations promoting healing and change.

This event is sponsored by the Indiana University Bicentennial Celebration, the Institute for American Thought, the IUPUI Africana Studies Program, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, and Indiana Humanities.

From Herron School of Art + Design | Kinetic Artwork by Zilvinas Kempinas

For more information or to see the original press release, visit the Herron School of Art + Design website.

Zilvinas Kempinas, “Parallels” (partial installation view), Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

The spring exhibitions in the Galleries at Herron School of Art and Design open March 7, 2018, headlined by a survey of works by kinetic artist Zilvinas Kempinas, including the international debut of a new, 112-foot-long site-responsive work.

Using VHS magnetic tape and other unconventional materials, Kempinas crafts dynamic sculptures and installations that are activated by natural phenomena such as light and the circulation of air.

Among eleven works in the exhibition are eight new sculptures on view for the first time, including “V Formation,” a large-scale installation conceived for Herron’s main gallery space. “V Formation” (2018) incorporates lines of unspooled VHS tape stretched across the length of the gallery. The installation creates a low ‘ceiling’ of shimmering reflective tape just above visitors’ heads. As the bands traverse the 112-foot-long gallery, the tape torques from a horizontal plane to a vertical one. The result is a monumental yet ethereal installation that transforms the experience of Herron’s space in unexpected ways.

Zilvinas Kempinas” runs through April 21, 2018, in the Berkshire, Reese, and Paul Galleries.

Also on view in the Galleries at Herron:

In the Marsh Gallery: Celebrating Herron’s Painting program, an undergraduate painting exhibition showcases a variety of works that explore traditional and contemporary methods and practices.

In the Basile Gallery: “Drawing Now: Recent Student Artwork” features a selection of work from students in Herron’s Drawing and Illustration program. Shannon M. Linker, vice president of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and director of Gallery 924, will serve as guest juror for the exhibition.
All three exhibitions open with a public reception on Wednesday, March 7 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St. The student exhibitions run through April 18, 2018. The Galleries at Herron are free and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, visit HerronGalleries.org.

Parking is available courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis in the visitor section of the Sports Complex Garage (west of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall), or on the upper floors of the Riverwalk Garage (south of the Sports Complex Garage) until 6 p.m. Park on any floor after 6 p.m. Bring your parking ticket to the Herron galleries for validation.

About Zilvinas Kempinas

Kempinas was born in Plungė, Lithuania in 1969. In 2009, Kempinas represented Lithuania at the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in Italy. He has had solo exhibitions at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.; Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland; Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Kuntshalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, among others. Group exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. Kempinas lives and works in New York City.

About Herron School of Art and Design

Founded in 1902, Herron School of Art and Design is the premier accredited, professional school of art and design in the state of Indiana and is part of the thriving urban campus of IUPUI. With more than 50 full-time faculty serving 11 undergraduate and three graduate programs, Herron’s curriculum prepares graduates to be leaders in a world that requires a unique combination of creativity, conceptual skills, and technical abilities. Herron is an engaged community and regional partner including five public galleries; community learning programs; and the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life.

Herron announces spring 2018 speaker series featuring Carrie Mae Weems, Lori Waxman, and Tom Loeser

From the Herron School of Art + Design:

The Galleries at Herron School of Art + Design is pleased to announce three exceptional public talks during the spring 2018 semester with art critic Lori Waxman, furniture maker Tom Loeser, and internationally renowned artist Carrie Mae Weems.

Each year, artists, designers, and other cultural producers are invited to speak at Herron School of Art and Design on timely issues related to contemporary art and culture. This spring, the talks will explore the role of the contemporary art critic, one furniture designer’s irreverent challenge to tradition and expectations, and an artist’s life-long investigation of cultural identity and systems of power.

Spring 2018 endowed talks

Lori Waxman will speak on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture. Waxman has written about contemporary art for the Chicago Tribune, Artforum, and other periodicals for the past 18 years. Her books include “Girls! Girls! Girls! in Contemporary Art” and “60 wrd/min art critic,” which was also the name of Waxman’s live performance of art criticism at dOCUMENTA (13). Waxman teaches art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tom Loeser will speak on Monday, March 5, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Phillip Tennant Furniture Artisan Lecture. Loeser has been head of the wood/furniture area at University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1991. Loeser designs and builds one-of-a-kind functional and dysfunctional objects that are often carved and painted. His work is always based on the history of design and object-making as a starting point for developing new form and meaning.

Carrie Mae Weems will speak on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Jane Fortune Outstanding Women Artist Lecture. One of the most important and celebrated contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated issues of race, gender, and class for over thirty years. Her artwork continues to raise important questions about cultural identity and the politics of representation. Weems is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” grant, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Prix de Rome.

Support for Herron’s endowed talks is made possible by Jane Fortune, Phillip Tennant, and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Great Frame Up Indianapolis.

All talks are free, open to the public, and held in the Basile Auditorium at Eskenazi Hall located at 735 West New York St., on the IUPUI campus. For more information, visit HerronGalleries.org.

 

Virtual and augmented high-performance tech is reality at IUPUI

Mike Boyles uses an IQ-Wall in the AV Lab. Photo by Tim Brouk, IU Communications

From News at IUPUI.

Twenty years ago, the top tech trends included high-speed internet, zip disks, and DVDs.

1997 was also the year the Advanced Visualization Lab made its debut. Spread across Indiana University and IUPUI, the lab didn’t concentrate on dial-up modems and boxy PCs, which were typical of the time. The labs looked at the future of visualizing research in ways that seemed lightyears ahead of the times. The star in IUPUI’s lab was the ImmersaDesk, a then-state-of-the-art augmented reality facility to enhance the user’s experience with programming. It was also established as part of the Research Technologies division of UITS and the Pervasive Technology Institute.

Today, the Advanced Visualization Lab at IUPUI has expanded to two spaces on the fourth floor of the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex. The rooms concentrate on virtual and augmented reality experiences, 3-D scanning and printing, and visualization through portable IQ-Walls and the futuristic IQ-Table, the 94-inch cousin to IQ-Walls that specializes in showcasing media collections from IUPUI.

Both spaces are open to students and faculty members to assist with research or class projects. While the amount of technology has expanded, Lab staff members like Mike Boyles say the expansion includes users. What was once designed for the few dozens of the techiest of technology students has grown to include thousands of users from almost every discipline at IUPUI.

“We are able to scale out services and help people more than ever,” said Boyles, the Lab manager. “We are doing things at a bigger scale than we ever have.” That scale involves serving all of the IU campuses around the state. The democratization of the technology means this is no longer the domain of the elite. [Read More]

This house is a very fine art project

View the original article here.

Professor Laura Holzman and the 2017 House Life Project house

For six months, an abandoned, boarded-up house, one of several on North Tacoma Avenue in the Near Eastside neighborhood, was transformed into a hub for an array of art forms by Herron School of Art and Design faculty and graduate students, along with Indianapolis residents and artists. The one-story structure was home to the 2017 House Life Project.

From May to October, the house hosted drawing, painting, and creative writing sessions; meals; workshops; and weekly porch parties with the goal of “public creation and discovery, resulting in tangible outputs such as dialogical artworks and interactive art installations.” Much artistic exploration has gone on inside and in the yard of the old house. While most neighboring houses are long abandoned, the 2017 House Life Project brought in more than 100 kids, veteran artists, and everyone in between.

“It’s really a neighborhood-driven, community-oriented project,” said Laura Holzman, an IUPUI assistant professor of art history and museum studies, curator for House Life Project, and public scholar of curatorial practices and visual art. “We had at least 120 people come to the (Aug. 26) open house. On a week-to-week basis, we usually had 15, 20 people here including kids with their families and neighbors who show up and participate.”

The House Life Project concept was created in 2015 by Meredith Brickell, a local artist who lives on the Near Eastside.

There is no running water or electricity in the house, but when it was open, it brimmed with life. One of the first transformations made to the former home was via the boarded-up windows. Project volunteers attached hinges and locks to the window frames. The boards that were once meant to keep things out became small doors of light all season long. Of course, the boards are colorfully painted by local artists Zavier Garth, Bernny Owens, and Christopher Williams. Garth and Williams became involved with House Life Project in 2016, when they lived next to a previous project site. The many portals of natural light activate fresh creations by artists like Andrea Jandernoa, a Herron graduate student with an emphasis on integrated studio work and social practice.

Jandernoa was one of the first artists to respond to a spring callout to help with House Life Project. The community-minded initiative fit perfectly with her passion of using art to build and help communities. “I see myself almost as a public servant,” said Jandernoa, who previously taught art at Emma Donnan Middle School. “To me, as a social projects artist, it’s really important to situate yourself within a community where you are creating ‘with’ and ‘for’ and ‘because of.'”

Now, House Life Project has moved out of 605 N. Tacoma Ave. The tables, chairs, art supplies, magazines and other creations made within the old walls are packed up. The painted boards and siding remain, and so does the legacy of the work Holzman, Jandernoa, and the rest of the project’s team and neighbors put in for the name of community fellowship and creativity.

“To an outsider, this street might look abandoned,” Holzman said. “But it’s really about saying ‘There is community that exists. There is creativity that exists here.'”

Even now that the front door is padlocked, the work isn’t finished. Print materials are planned to document and discuss what went on for six months at 605 N. Tacoma Ave.  “We want to share the work our writers have been doing and to share more broadly the art we’ve created,” Holzman said. “We’re based in a house, but we’re nomadic in nature.”

Herron’s 2017 Undergraduate Student Exhibition

View the original announcement here.

The Galleries at Herron School of Art and Design are pleased to present the 2017 Undergraduate Student Exhibition, located in Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus.

The exhibition is an annual tradition featuring exceptional works produced by Herron students across a variety of artistic disciplines. Chris Reitz, gallery director of the Hite Art Institute, will serve as a guest juror and will award prizes for the top student entries.

Robert Horvath, Gold Room, 2017

Coinciding with the student exhibition is “Petit Mort,” a selection of oil paintings and digital compositions created by Associate Professor Robert Horvath during a recent sabbatical. Inspired by the complex nature of 18th-century figurative porcelain, Horvath’s newest body of work juxtaposes homoerotic imagery and Rococo style to raise questions of censorship in relation to present-day social issues for the LGBTQ community.

The exhibitions open with a public reception at Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St., on November 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Undergraduate Student Exhibition will take place in the Berkshire, Reese, Paul, and Marsh Galleries, with “Petit Mort” showing in the Basile Gallery. During the reception, visitors can shop locally from a selection of affordable prints and ceramic wares made by Herron artists while supporting student clubs. The student sale will take place in the grand hallway of Eskenazi Hall from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

The Galleries at Herron are free and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, visit HerronGalleries.org.

Parking is available courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis in the visitor’s section of the Sports Complex Garage (west of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall), or on the upper floors of the Riverwalk Garage (south of the Sports Complex Garage) until 6 p.m. Park on any floor after 6 p.m. and bring your parking ticket to the Herron galleries for validation.