INDIANAPOLIS — The Galleries at Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI will kick off the 2019 winter/spring season Jan. 9 with new and iconic works by Kota Ezawa, Christian Marclay and Peter Shear. The solo exhibitions — Ezawa’s “Tonya,” Marclay’s “Telephones” and Shear’s “Time Stamp” — offer three conceptual investigations into dance choreography and animated movement, communication and the transformative power of editing, and the formal qualities of mark-making in painting.
Headlining the school’s first exhibitions of 2019 is “Tonya,” Ezawa’s latest three-channel video based on the choreography and movements of contemporary dancer James Kirby Rogers of the Kansas City Ballet. The collaboration between Ezawa and Rogers brings together dance and visual arts disciplines by fusing human movements with the imaginative faculties enabled by digital animation. Included in the exhibition are videos and films by Nam June Paik, Yvonne Rainer, Kate Bush and Bruce Nauman to trace a history of dance recorded between the 1960s and 1980s. The videos and films also function as an ancestry to the artist’s own backstory as a Kate Bush fan as a teenager and a student of Nam June Paik at the Kuntstakademie Dusseldorf.
Also opening Jan. 9 in the Basile Gallery is Christian Marclay’s “Telephones,” an exhibition exploring the artist’s interest in telecommunications — a recurring motif in his work. The centerpiece of the show is Marclay’s 1995 video “Telephones,” in which Marclay, using the narrative arc of a telephone call, masterfully stitches together excerpts from well-known movies to craft a new narrative from film fragments. Through it, he presents a meditation on the mechanics, rhythms and sonic properties of our ever-changing technologies while also offering an astute observation on cinematic structure and outmoded social habits.
In the Marsh Gallery is “Time Stamp,” an exhibition of new paintings by Peter Shear, a self-taught artist based in Bloomington. Known for his small-scale, abstract compositions, Shear is introducing a new series of larger-format paintings together with a selection of other recent work. These new, larger canvases offer an exuberant exploration of the poetic and expressive possibilities of color and gesture and continue the artist’s sustained investigation into the varied and sometimes contradictory ways to make a painting.
“Tonya” is on view through Feb. 23; “Telephones” and “Time Stamp” close Feb. 21.
An opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 9 at Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St.
In-kind support is provided by Sun King Brewing. Parking is free in the Sports Complex Garage adjacent to Eskenazi Hall or on levels 5 and 6 of the Riverwalk Garage, courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis, with validation from the Herron galleries. Visit HerronGalleries.org for more information.
Located in Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus, the Galleries at Herron are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays.
About Kota Ezawa
Born in Cologne, Germany, in 1969, Kota Ezawa is known for animating film and video footage of iconic moments from history and popular culture using a process involving freehand and vector-based digital techniques. Recent solo exhibitions include the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia; SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts; and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. His work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Ezawa is based in Oakland, California.
About Christian Marclay
Born in California in 1955 and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, Christian Marclay has explored the fusion of fine art and audio cultures for the past three decades, transforming sounds and music into a visible, physical form through performance, sculpture, installation, photography and video. His work is held in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Metropolitan Museum of American Art, New York City; Tate Modern, London; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among many others. Marclay lives and works between London and New York City.
About Peter Shear
Peter Shear was born in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, in 1980. His work has been shown in galleries nationally and internationally and has appeared in New American Paintings, The L Magazine and Whitehot Magazine. He has recently exhibited at George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco; 840 Gallery at the University of Cincinnati; Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida; Fortnight Institute, New York City; Devening Projects + Editions, Chicago; and Elaine L. Jacob Gallery at Wayne State University, Detroit. Shear lives and works in Bloomington.
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. Herron has more than 50 full-time faculty serving 11 undergraduate and three graduate programs and a curriculum that 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; youth and continuing education programs; and the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life.
INDIANAPOLIS — The experiences of refugees will be highlighted in a multi-arts exhibit that opens Jan. 9 at IUPUI, with affiliated events in Indianapolis and Bloomington.
“Art & Refugees: Shine the Light” brings together glass, photography and documentary art to create awareness of the refugee experience, telling stories of perseverance that transcend cultures, time and religion. The United Nations reports that refugee crises across the world have forced an unprecedented 68.5 million people from their homes.
The exhibit will be open Jan. 9-31 in the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. It is free and open to the public.
Pieces of the exhibit are housed in the Cultural Arts Gallery on the second level of the Campus Center as well as on the first floor. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Visitor parking is available in the adjacent Vermont Street Garage.
Members of the campus and community will have a chance to meet the artists at an opening reception taking place 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the Campus Center Atrium. The reception will include light refreshments and a short program.
The exhibit includes “Todesmarche Revisited” by Laura Donefer, an installation of cast glass and cement footprints, some of which were taken from Holocaust survivors, telling the story of the forced marches and displacement.
The glass installation is juxtaposed by German photographer Charlotte Schmitz’s “Take Me to Jermany” photography installation, capturing the faces and experiences of displaced refugees living in Europe, and excerpts of the “Finding Home” documentary by multi-Emmy Award-winning filmmaker David Marshall in collaboration with Deborah Haber, creator/playwright of the “Moses Man: Finding Home” musical.
“Exploring Stories of Holocaust and Displacement,” hosted by the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis, will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Laikin Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Road. This program will feature testimonials from local Holocaust survivors as well as a panel of visiting artists. Participants can also view a photography exhibit of and by contemporary refugees in Europe. The event is free. Preregistration is preferred at the JCC website, by calling 317-251-9467 or at the JCC membership desk.
An open house and panel discussion with the exhibit artists will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 10 in Room 1060 of the Indiana University Global and International Studies Building on the IU campus in Bloomington.
“Refugees of the Holocaust, Refugees of Today” will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan 29 in IUPUI’s Hine Hall Auditorium, 875 W. North St. The program will feature a panel discussion with Tamra Wright, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, and will include IUPUI’s scholar-in-residence, Adam Strom, Director of Re-Imagining Migration; artist Debbie Haber, director of Shine the Light and daughter of Holocaust-survivor refugees; and Winnie Betili Bulaya, director of Refugee Welcoming Baskets.
The Lab Culture series explores the research, traditions and quirks in labs across the IUPUI campus.
The centuries-old art of printmaking still impresses in the digital age.
The Printmaking Lab within the Herron School of Art and Design was bustling Monday as students worked on semester-end lithography, screen-printing and etching projects within the space. But no work can be done without passing the program’s shrine full of mementos, totems and memories from current and past IUPUI printmakers.
“We joke around that if you’re getting ready to print your edition, you make a small offering to the print gods,” said Dominic Senibaldi, lab technician, instructor and co-founder of Cat Head Press. “If your printing went well, you give thanks with a trinket or a proof of your print. It represents the communal attitude in the shop. It’s a nice tradition.”
Playing off the shrine and supported by printmaking professors Meredith Setser and David Morrison, Senibaldi’s years in the lithography space have brought some interesting traditions and mascots to add to the creative atmosphere of the printmaking lab.
‘The One About Printmaking’
If and when “Friends” eventually leaves Netflix, you can get your Ross Geller fix by visiting the lithography space in the Printmaking Lab. Yes, the uptight paleontologist played by David Schwimmer is there to remind students to “Clean up your mess” and tell them where to find the dry-erase marker to schedule time on the lab’s five presses.
“For a long time, I was making signs with Nic Cage on them,” Senibaldi said. “The print mascot changes every once in a while. I started making signs with Ross Geller, and it just sort of stuck.”
Beats help prints
Each space in the Printmaking Lab is equipped with custom-made computer speaker cabinets. Students can plug in their mobile device or laptop with their Spotify playlist cued up to bring the rock, hip-hop or pop they need to help create images with ink. The lithography speaker cabinet is decorated with dozens of small felt pompoms — some with googly eyes, of course.
“The students get full access to the shop,” Senibaldi explained. “They’re working in here outside of classes, so they can hook up their music and rock out while working on their stuff — so it becomes really fun. My predecessor, former Printmaking Lab tech Lauren Kussro, built these boxes attached to the wall because other areas of the school kept stealing our speakers from here — because we’re the cool kids over here listening to music.”
Name that press
The five main presses for producing prints on paper or nontraditional surfaces like plastic and fabric display names like Big Rig, Excalibur and José. Senibaldi revealed there could be a student vote to rename the hand-operated machines in the near future.
“Everything has character in this shop,” he said. “Fine-art printmaking is always going to have a place in art. There is a tactile quality and hands-on process you can’t get with other processes. It’s very unique.”
The Moving Company has called IUPUI its home since 1983. The contemporary dance group will unpack “Home” this weekend.
The group will perform four original pieces in its fall showcase, titled “Home,” at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Campus Center Theater. The concert is free and open to the public. The Moving Company will be joined by Xiphos Corps, Create Freedom Arts Projects and Studio J2 Dance for the dance extravaganza.
One of the works, “Home Is Me,” showcases 16 of The Moving Company’s 20 performers dancing to up-tempo music and utilizing an array of dance expertise. Guest choreographer Adrienne D. Jackson scripted jumps, floor work and modern moves to tell the story of her “Home.”
“It’s just coming to terms with being who I am and being that person wherever I am,” said Jackson, an IUPUI alumna and current Indianapolis high school mathematics teacher. “It’s about settling into a comfortable space.”
The Moving Company dancers rehearsed all semester on the “Home” works while partaking in live special events around campus this semester like Regatta and the IUPUI 50th Anniversary kickoff event.
The student performers come from varied dance backgrounds, from ballet and jazz to modern and hip-hop. Student choreographers like Shay Sondgerath, a School of Health and Human Sciences junior, take full advantage of their dancers’ stylistic and physical flexibility. Sondgerath created a piece to Beyoncé’s “End of Time” that has been performed at IUPUI and Indiana Pacers basketball games.
“It’s our fun piece for the year, just to use throughout the semester,” Sondgerath said. “I love choreographing, seeing the dancers’ abilities and what all they can do. It’s awesome to see them do well.”
Meghan Nowels, president of The Moving Company, grew up dancing tap, ballet, lyrical, jazz and musical theater numbers, just to name a few. She wanted to continue her passion while studying tourism, conventions and event management at IUPUI. She found most of her fellow Moving Company dancers had similar stories, despite their different backgrounds.
“I found a home at IUPUI with The Moving Company and found friends,” said Nowels, a junior. “To be able to come together and dance and share a special time together is really amazing.”
All the sweat from spending hours practicing an eight-bar phrase and connecting the moves to an emotional level is worth it when concerts approach. Performing in front of an audience and sharing their effort is a big reason for The Moving Company’s longevity.
“The feeling you get when you perform is like nothing you can describe,” Nowels said. “I think that’s why a lot of people continue dancing with us.”
A year ago, the new James J. Fritts, DDS Clinical Care Center at the Indiana University School of Dentistry was looking for some art for a large common space. John Hoffman, assistant dean of development for the dental school, saw Nava’s work coming down after being on display for months in University Library and inquired about the sculpture, which consists of 11 5-foot-by-5-foot aluminum-sheet maple leaves curled and hung from the ceiling. The piece has been in the Fritts Clinical Center since September.
“Before John Hoffman reached out, I was taking a break from school and planning on not returning,” Nava revealed. “I didn’t think my work was strong enough, and I didn’t think people appreciated it. He got me to come back to school and finish my career here.”
“Changing of Seasons” now dangles from the ceiling of the Dr. Lloyd and Jan Hagedorn Main Street common space, the first-floor area that connects the Fritts Clinical Center to the older dentistry building.
Hoffman said most of the artwork in the Fritts Clinical Center was curated and donated by alumnus Dr. R. Stephen Lehman, a Carmel prosthodontist, photographer and respected art collector. Photographs from Lehman’s collection were installed throughout the Fritts Clinical Center. But the Main Street area that has become the spot for receptions, reunions and other School of Dentistry events needed one more piece.
“We wanted art in here, but we didn’t want to clutter the walls. We wanted to keep it open,” Hoffman said. “We wanted to do something in here to warm it up and make it inviting. Frankly, I’ve noticed more students congregating in here since these went up.
“I’d like to drive traffic through here for purposes other than dentistry, just to highlight the building.”
One marvelous maple leaf
Trying to fulfill a sculpture class assignment, Nava only had to look to the sidewalk of his southside Indianapolis neighborhood to find inspiration. A holder of an associate degree in photography, he discovered the “perfect” maple leaf, took a picture and worked on a design using Photoshop while balancing a full-time job and class load.
For the first leaf, Nava projected his digital design to an aluminum sheet. He cut out the shape with a handsaw before creating texture on the metal with sandpaper. He curved parts of the leaf and its stem to mimic the curling of a crunchy autumn leaf.
Lastly, he designed how the leaves would “fall” by hanging them at different angles. The collection of leaves looks different from every angle, and it successfully evokes the calmness of falling leaves.
“I’m trying to bring nature inside the building,” Nava explained. “Everyone can relate to nature in a way.”
Fantastic in Fritts
Hoffman said he had no idea about Nava’s wavering university experience. He simply happened to be passing through University Library last December when “Changing of Seasons” was being taken down.
“When I saw them, I said, ‘I have the perfect place for those,’ ” Hoffman recalled. “I knew the silver scheme would match the tones in here. It’s a great enhancement for the area and the building.”
With the Fritts Clinical Center opening in early 2018, Hoffman quickly saw the need for some three-dimensional art in IUPUI’s newest building. The sculpture looks at home, whether viewed from underneath, from above through a second-floor window or from outside in the building’s courtyard.
The honorarium from the “Changing of Seasons” purchase has gone to Nava’s remaining tuition, and the sculpture will hang in the Fritts Center for many seasons to come.
“I fall in love every time I walk in here,” Nava said with a smile.
The display effectively reinforces the toll and sheer numbers behind the devastation of the Civil War.
“For certain regiments, out of 1,000 people, only 150 came back,” said Jane E. Schultz, a professor of English at IUPUI with expertise in 19th-century American literature, culture and medicine.
An on-set consultant for the PBS series “Mercy Street,” Schultz will give a talk, “Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space,” at noon Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Lilly Medical Library.
Complementing the “Life and Limb” exhibit, Schultz’s talk will focus on surgical interactions. According to the National Library of Medicine, the number of wounded was about the same as the number of casualties throughout the war — about 500,000.
Localized pieces from the library’s archives are displayed on the third floor of the library in conjunction with “Life and Limb.” An authentic surgical kit featuring amputation knives and handsaws in a small carrying case sits next to the Jan. 9, 1906, issue of the Indiana Medical Journal, which features early Indianapolis physician Dr. William H. Wishard’s account of his Civil War experience.
“What I’m looking at are the ways surgeons wrote about their experiences with patients,” Schultz said. “They change from a clinical register if they’re talking to their colleagues to a far more personal narrative if they’re keeping written documents for their wives to read later. This material is recorded in letters and diaries at the National Library of Medicine, the National Archives and the Library of Congress.”
While movies and television shows have successfully captured the brutality of the war and the bravery of the soldiers and surgeons, the medical lens is sometimes blurred. Sue London, Lilly Medical Library’s research librarian, cringes for more than one reason at movie scenes in which a Union or Confederate soldier is about to get a limb amputated without real anesthetic, usually held down by a fellow soldier for dramatic effect.
“Not the case,” she countered. “Ninety-five percent of the time, they used chloroform or ether. They were dosed lightly, as the operations were brief. The light anesthesia, not pain, caused the patients to move about while insensible.”
Photography and artists’ renderings of such scenes were often staged, Schultz added. Research has shown that war operations were private matters, giving the patients dignity and allowing the surgeons to concentrate on their harrowing work.
The panels from the National Library of Medicine display rare photos from the front as well as portraits of survivors, who are usually missing a limb or two. The exhibit shows surgical methods and the advancements in prosthetics and products created for the hundreds of thousands of men who were wounded. One example: A combined fork-and-knife eating utensil was made for those missing an arm.
According to the exhibit, veterans were given $50 toward a prosthetic arm and $75 for a leg from the federal government.
The years following the Civil War saw the establishment of the nursing profession. Schultz, who taught a Civil War literature class last spring, has studied women’s roles in the war, namely assisting surgeons and caring for the wounded post-surgery. Gangrene and other diseases were responsible for many more deaths than were bullets and cannon fire, she said.
“As people understood the enormity of the problem, more and more women were needed,” Schultz explained. “They would take care of the soldiers at the bedside, feed the soldiers and bring medicine. Occasionally they would help on some kind of operation.”
Many soldiers suffered after the war, but some wounded veterans were able to live full lives after surgery with the help of prosthetics. Their bravery helped them earn jobs, and some even held elected office.
The survivors also spurred the government to establish welfare and war veteran financial assistance. Because the pensioning system was not standardized until after the war, most disabled veterans had to wait for the assistance that could have helped them sooner.
Scholars like Schultz are still researching one of America’s most brutal eras. The estimated 60,000 surgeries that occurred during the Civil War are still bringing interest and visceral reactions 150 years later.
“Studying this aspect of the war really helps us see advancements in medical technologies in the era,” Schultz said. “People might have occasionally seen what amputation saws looked like, but the pictures of the amputees, the crutches, the human factor of this, I think, effectively conveys the traumatic impact of the costs of war.”
For this month’s alumni spotlight, we check in with David Bowen (B.F.A. Sculpture ’99), an associate professor of sculpture and physical computing at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Bowen’s creations engage elements of the natural world with autonomous machines through robotics, open source data, and custom software.
In the nearly two-plus decades since graduating, he has tracked government-owned buoys to visualize the surface of distant oceans; detected the flight patterns of houseflies to operate blimps and compose tweets; and measured the growth of plants for responsive circadian drawings. Today, he’s preparing an installation for the Minnesota Museum of American Art that captures real-time wave videos from locations all over the world.
Here, Bowen talks about the evolution of his creative practice, teaching young artists to incorporate technology in their work, and staying busy in the studio.
HERRON: What kinds of work did you make as a Herron student?
DAVID BOWEN: At that time, I was doing a lot of steel fabrication – welding, grinding, and assembling steel sculptures. Towards the later part of my career at Herron I became interested in kinetic sculpture – making things that have moving parts in simple analog ways with switches that would turn things on or cranks that were interactive. It was really simple kinetic sculpture. I also got a job at a bike shop and that influenced what I was doing with the mechanisms by integrating a lot of repurposed bike parts.
HERRON: What themes or concepts were you exploring in your work?
BOWEN: I think a consistent thing I looked at then and even now is combining natural and mechanical elements within my work, at least as a starting off point. As I got into later work and using robotics, I started to realize that maybe that contrast was not so clear.
I’ve always been fascinated by nature. In fact, as a young person growing up in Indianapolis, my grandparents had a pet shop in Irvington and I spent a lot of time there. Being with the animals and the elaborate systems my grandfather would create to keep tropical fish alive was always very fascinating to me. So, this combination of a mechanism designed to maintain a living thing is where a lot of that interest came from.
HERRON: Conversely, how has your work evolved into the realm of data-driven sculptures?
BOWEN: I attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for my M.F.A. and chose that program to work with a particular kinetic sculptor. His name was Guy Baldwin. He was a great resource for analog kinetics, such as on and off switches and motors.
As a graduate student at this big research university, part of my thesis requirement was to seek out faculty outside of the art department. I was fortunate enough to find a mechanical engineering professor who was interested in working with me and introduced me to programmable microcontrollers, which are basically little computers that you can plug into your laptop or desktop computer and program to input data from various sensors, or output data like movement or light.
That really opened up the possibilities with the kinetic systems I made and gave me the ability to integrate more complexity into the way that these systems would respond to natural inputs. So, at that time I became a coder. I’m not classically trained but I’ve been using coding in my work ever since.
HERRON: In 2009, you had a show in the Herron galleries titled “if/then.” Tell us about that work and how you incorporated housefly movements to activate the installation.
BOWEN: The title was taken from computer language called BASIC, using if-then statements. If the fly does this, then the mechanism does that.
For the installation at Herron, I had a piece titled “swarm.” That piece was commissioned in 2008 by a gallery that’s no longer around called Exit Art in New York. They had an open call and were looking for works about the brain. I sold those curators on the idea of 500 living houseflies inside a 10-inch-diameter acrylic sphere as the brain of an autonomous robot.
So, inside of this sphere were flies and food and water to keep them happy and healthy, as well as some sensors that would detect their movements. Data from the sensors was then mapped or scaled to output, basically drive motors, so if a fly was landing on a sensor or flying past a sensor, that data would then be mapped to a motor. Essentially, the flies were driving the rover around the gallery space.
There was a black-taped ring on the floor and the device had some sensors that would look down and detect the ring and keep it within that space. But occasionally it would bounce off of the ring, kind of like a fly bouncing off the inside of the sphere or on a window.
BOWEN: With a lot of my recent work, I’m getting data from what’s happening from distant locations and collecting movement from the surface of the water. You can do that relatively simply with an accelerometer – a thing that measures movement of X, Y, Z. – and map that data to various outputs.
I wanted to get some water movement data, so I needed to make a sealed, waterproof container that has batteries, an accelerometer, a remote controller, and maybe cellular output so that it could pipe that data to the piece. It was working through this technical conundrum of making this thing work and making it last, when a friend of mine – a technician at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) where I’m now teaching – mentioned NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and they’ve already done that.
They’ve made bouys that collect all kinds of data and they’ve done a way better job than I could ever do. I checked out NOAA and it turns out that these data are free for anybody to use. At that point, it was just a matter of writing some custom software that would pull data from a particular buoy. It was the simplest solution rather than trying to make my own thing.
HERRON: There are a lot of free data sets out there that you can be incorporated into artwork.
BOWEN: Absolutely. That was back in 2011 and it’s really blown up with the Internet of Things and connectivity. There are even weather apps from which you can grab data on your smartphone. I’m working on a project right now where I can plug in some GPS coordinates and get a satellite photo from the other side of the world of the clouds and the ocean. It’s right there at your fingertips.
HERRON: What challenges have arisen with using data to inform your work and how have you adapted your workflow?
BOWEN: Things seem to be ever-changing and there are technical challenges. For example, maybe one of the buoys is down, so you have to have a plan-B in place or switch over to a different buoy.
I had another installation called “tele-present wind” that was in two spaces at the same time. In this case, I made a sensor that goes outside and collects wind data. As a plant’s stalk was blown around by the wind, data from the accelerometer was sent in real-time to the gallery. Every once in a while, there would be a power outage, a storm, or the sensor was down. To a certain extent, the show must go on, so you’ve got to have some backup data in place.
So, if for some reason the data source gets cut, it reverts to recorded data. I have a huge data sets where I recorded that sensor for months so it could just play that back. I’d rather not resort to that, but having something happen in the gallery space like it’s supposed to is good.
HERRON: What percentage of your studio time is spent programming versus creating the sculptures?
BOWEN: I’d say a third of the time in my studio is making, so even with digital fabrication you’re still having to do the making. It’s still relevant. A third of the time is coding, typing the code to make the piece do what you want to do. Then, the other third of the time is what I call debugging or testing.
I’ve got a commission I’m working on for the Minnesota Museum of American Art that I’m running right now. It’s a two-part piece and I’m running half of it constantly in my studio just to see what’s going to break and then fix it to get ahead of any issues. Luckily, it seems to be working pretty well. But there’s nothing worse than going to an exhibition of kinetic, interactive, or data-driven work that’s supposed to do something and it’s not doing anything because it’s broken. I try to avoid that as much as I can. I’m not an engineer, though. I have a little bit of engineering training from graduate school, but a DIY spirit comes through in my work.
HERRON: Are there any happy accidents with your work?
BOWEN: I think it’s impossible to make things perfect, especially when you’re pulling from outside data sources. You really never know what’s going to happen. I have this piece, “fly revolver,” that’s in the Beijing Media Art Biennale right now. It’s a gun that’s aimed and fired by flies. The flies are in control.
It’s probably the most political thing I’ve ever done. I did it pretty soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The first time it was exhibited was in Chicago, and Illinois was the last state in the U.S. to pass the concealed-carry law, where you can carry a gun wherever you want. I was invited to participate in an exhibition related to that law passing. Of course, for the exhibition it had to be a very convincing replica revolver. The flies fired that thing so many times that the gun broke, which I thought was pretty great.
HERRON: You’ve exhibited widely – nationally and internationally – in exhibitions related to the intersection of art, science, and technology. From an artist’s perspective, how do you perceive the connection between these seemingly disparate fields?
BOWEN: I don’t see art and science as super disparate, especially in terms of the work that I do. I like to read books by Oliver Sachs, Steven Johnson, Howard Ringold, and Brian Green that are inspirational – thinking about the bigger picture, the universe, how we interact with the world and artificial intelligence, and how it’s changing us as a species. I’m fascinated by science. But I’m not trying to solve any scientific problems or anything like that. As an artist, I tend to ask questions rather than answer them.
HERRON: What key lessons did you learn at Herron?
BOWEN: The biggest thing I picked up at Herron is a strong work ethic and dedication to studio practice. You’ve got to put the time in. That was something that was very much instilled in me early on. We were also encouraged to take courses outside of our field. I took a physics course, “Physics for Educators,” and I didn’t see it so much at the time but I think it influenced my studio practice down the way.
I was also hired by my professor, Eric Nordgulen. He was my mentor at Herron and really gave me a lot. That was an amazing opportunity and I was very fortunate to have that experience because it showed me the nuts and bolts of installing a piece, pouring concrete footing, packaging artwork for shipping, and basically, everything about running a studio. That was incredible and something you don’t necessarily get in the classroom.
HERRON: As an educator, how do you approach teaching students in today’s rapidly changing creative and technical environments?
BOWEN: I’m implementing a course, “Robotics and Physical Computing,” here at UMD. It’s like a “Sculpture II” class where students start to integrate programmable microcontrollers. It gives them the ability to start bringing in data sources and trying to make more complex time-based systems.
The beauty with all of this microcontroller stuff that I do is that I tend to stick with open-source software. I use Processing, which has an amazing community of people who are doing similar things. I use Python occasionally, and the microcontrollers I’m using are Arduinos. There are other things that people use like Max/MSP, which are great but they cost $600. I think it’s better for students to use open-source software because it’s free. I use it myself for a lot of my studio practice.
Last year, I did an artist residency in San Francisco with Autodesk. They have an amazing makerspace on a pier right off of the Embarcadero, giving artists access to this incredible equipment and incredibly smart people. After I got back from Autodesk, I felt confident enough in my abilities to teach digital fabrication in my curriculum at UMD. We got a CMT machine last year and I started to integrate that, too.
HERRON: What do you have coming up this fall?
BOWEN: As I mentioned, I have a new piece debuting at the Minnesota Museum of American Art titled “wave line,” comprising low-resolution LED screens and video pulled from the website Surfline. It’s for surfers wondering what’s happening in Hawaii or how the waves are in Ocean Beach.
There are really great compositions and beautiful views of the waves, so I wrote custom software that’s scraping the video and outputting it to LED panels. It’s a low-res view of waves from very distant locations placed in front of the museum’s window gallery.
HERRON: What advice do you repeatedly tell your students that may also benefit Herron students?
BOWEN: At Herron, we were always encouraged to submit materials to open calls for exhibitions and keep the work out there. If there’s a lull in what you’re doing, [apply to] those open calls. Most of the time, this results in a rejection letter. That’s just part of it. So, get a thick skin for rejection because it’s going to happen.
Lastly, working hard in your studio doesn’t necessarily guarantee you anything. But not working hard guarantees that not much is going to happen. I think that’s a good, realistic way to look at your studio practice.
The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI invites you to a special event to celebrate the scholarship of our students and further the notion that the building of a community requires the open and free exchange of ideas.
This contest provides IUPUI undergraduate students an opportunity to showcase their commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict through extemporaneous oration.
The theme of the of the event is Peaceful Conflict Resolution and Communication.
Did you ever wonder why there is so much conflict in society? Or, how you could contribute to the solutions?
The two TLC’s (Themed Learning Communities) taking part in tonight’s event explore issues of culture, race, and ethnicity patterns of human interaction, through the disciplines of sociology, religious studies, and human communication via public speaking and inter-group dialogue.
Come join us!
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Campus Center – IUPUI
420 University Blvd, CE 002
Indianapolis, IN 46202
5:30pm – Reception
6:00pm – Event Begins
The Curtis Memorial Oratorical Contest was founded by Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, Richard Curtis, and his wife, Beth, to honor the memory of his brothers, Robert and Dana, both of whom were killed at war.
INDIANAPOLIS — Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI is presenting the 2018 Christel DeHaan Family Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture with Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley on Nov. 28, followed by an opening reception for the annual Undergraduate Student Exhibition and a holiday art sale supporting Herron student artists and designers.
MacArthur Award “genius” grant recipient Mary Reid Kelley combines painting, performance and her distinctive wordplay in graphically stylized films made in collaboration with her partner, Patrick Kelley. During the talk, the collaborative duo will discuss the visual language of “The Minotaur Trilogy” (2013–15), a series of short narrative films exploring the Greek Minotaur myth and, through it, the present-day roles of women, sexuality, language and art historical tropes.
Opening in conjunction with the Kelleys’ talk is the Undergraduate Student Exhibition, an annual tradition featuring exceptional works produced by Herron students across a variety of artistic disciplines. This year’s guest juror is Betsy Stirratt, director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University Bloomington, who will award prizes to the top entries. Additionally, the ceramics, furniture design and printmaking clubs will sell student-made artwork and wares, and students in studio art and technology will present live puppet performances featuring laser-engraved sets and characters fabricated in the school’s Think It Make It Lab.
The talk and opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 28 at Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St.
The opening reception is made possible by Prizm: The Artist’s Supply Store, with in-kind support provided by Sun King Brewing. Parking will be free in the Sports Complex Garage adjacent to Eskenazi Hall or on levels 5 and 6 of the Riverwalk Garage, courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis, with validation from the Herron galleries. Visit HerronGalleries.org for more information.
Located in Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus, the Galleries at Herron are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays.
Also on view in the Galleries at Herron through Dec. 12:
In the Marsh Gallery: Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s corresponding exhibition, “The Minotaur Trilogy,” comprising three films — “Priapus Agonistes” (2014), “Swinburne’s Pasiphae” (2014), and “The Thong of Dionysus” (2015) — that use punning wordplay, handmade costumes and sets, and bawdy humor to riff on classical mythology and pop culture.
In the Basile Gallery: “Stuff(ed),” an exhibition featuring the work of five contemporary artists who explore the playful, subversive power of sculpted fabric to transform and reimagine mass-market commodities and bric-a-brac from everyday life. Participating artists are Jessica Dance, Gil Yefman, Andrea Pritschow, David Gabbard and Natalie Baxter.
About Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley
Mary Reid Kelley earned a B.A. from St. Olaf College and an MFA from Yale University. She is the recipient of a 2016 MacArthur fellowship and has received awards from the American Academy in Rome, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the College Art Association. Major exhibitions include Salt Lake Art Center, Utah; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts; and ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Patrick Kelley earned a BFA from St. Olaf College and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has taught photography, video and new media courses at the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Skidmore College in New York. His works have shown at the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information-Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; and the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
About the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture
The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture brings prominent contemporary artists to Herron to present their work and ideas.
About Betsy Stirratt
Betsy Stirratt is the founding director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University Bloomington. As director, Stirratt has curated exhibitions for over 30 years, including the exhibits “Personal: Selections from the Robert J. Shiffler Collection,” “Human Nature” and “The Miniature.”
About the 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. Herron has more than 50 full-time faculty serving 11 undergraduate and three graduate programs and a curriculum that 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.
In addition to being a world-renowned poet and essayist, Luis Alberto Ambroggio has been a lifelong collector of Spanish literature and history books, many from well before his time.
It’s a priceless collection. And it now resides at IUPUI.
The Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, formally opened Nov. 1 in a ceremony at the center, housed in Room 323 of Cavanaugh Hall. Among the distinguished guests were Ambroggio; Garry Holland, education chair for the Greater Indianapolis Branch of the NAACP; Elia James from the Lawrence city government; IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Johnson; and representatives from the Indianapolis mayor’s office, the Lawrence mayor’s office and the office of Rep. André Carson.
“The center is not only for Latino studies; it’s open to anybody, in any major. Students can use the library to continue research,” said Jose Vargas-Vila, director of IUPUI’s Latino Studies program. “In the future, we’ll use it to invite scholars and writers to IUPUI.”
Nearly 2,000 volumes are in the center, covering classic Spanish literature, linguistics, American history and more. The center is in partnership with the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, of which associate professor Rosa Tezanos-Pinto is a full member and editor of the academy’s bulletin.
“Latino studies is a flourishing area of study in the School of Liberal Arts, and the Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center will do a wonderful job of serving students for years to come,” School of Liberal Arts interim dean Robert Rebein said. “To have such a wonderful collection within our walls is a remarkable testament to our school’s programs.”
The connection between Ambroggio and IUPUI was forged by Tezanos-Pinto through annual conferences around the world. Tezanos-Pinto told Ambroggio about the growing Latino Studies program at IUPUI, and an interest and a bond were formed.
“She made the impression, and Ambroggio chose this university — from among several others — to pass on his collection to a place that would be a permanent location,” Vargas-Vila said. “He wanted to donate the books that belonged to him and his parents.”
Some 700 students take classes in Latino studies each year from two full-time and four part-time faculty. Students have had internships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the city of Lawrence and inside the Indiana Statehouse.