ON VIEW: "Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions" at The Drawing Center
By Aimee Lusty
Walking into the ground floor gallery of The Drawing Center in Soho, the viewer is greeted by an installation resembling a makeshift natural history museum and immediately transported south of the equator to the various locations of the Department of Tropical Research in the early 20th century. “Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions” is the first exhibition to archive the expeditions of DTR through a collection of photographs, scientific illustrations, maps, taxidermy, objects, ephemera, and film. The exhibition highlights the department’s pioneering research that has contributed to our modern understanding of nature, ecology, evolution, and conservation.
By Julia Buntaine
Editor in Chief
“Being Material,” held on April 21st and 22nd, was a two-day symposium hosted by MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology. Focusing on the emergence of new materials, persistence of old materials, and discoveries about existing materials in this digital age, “Being Material” brought together artists, designers, technologists, scientists, historians, curators, critics, and theorists to discuss materials through the lens of the programmable, the wearable, the livable, the invisible, and the audible.
"From ether to matter, this work examines both the corporal and non-corporal relationship we have with our digital and tangible environments. Here, artificial systems assist natural systems to propagate as a reflection of our own intimate consciousness with technology. Relational Sustainability is an interactive installation in which gallery visitors are encouraged to assume a role within the immediate ecosystem by sending a tweet, as each tweet feeds the plants in the project space. From digital clouds to real clouds, the connection is created between data and water molecules.
Water drops are released from a cloud structure in the gallery space every time a participant sends a tweet. Twitter messages with #releasetherain (along with a personal message) can be sent by anyone with access to Twitter from anywhere in the world. This makes participation possible from inside or outside the project space. As ‘rain’ droplets fall directly onto the plants below the cloud structure, this gives participants the power to determine the fate of the plants via the digital cloud of Twitter..."
By Julia Buntaine
Editor in Chief
One of the conundrums those in arts journalism constantly face is the inability to truly capture a work of art through documentation - documentation is how we share our favorite art with our readers. We choose the best photos we can get, and use descriptions to supplement, knowing it always falls short of the in-real-life experience. It sounds strange to say that some of my favorite works of art are pieces I've never seen in person - Maman by Louise Bourgeois, Water and Bonsai by Azuma Makoto, or Stranger Visions by Heather Dewey-Hagborg, to name a few - but it's not really strange at all, considering the number of images we consume on the Internet daily. More often than not, geography keeps me from the emergent in-real-life aesthetic experience I know awaits. This was not the case today, when I moved through a gallery from my office chair.
By Georgia Schwender, Fermilab
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory advances the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy by providing leadership and resources for qualified researchers to conduct basic research at the frontiers of high energy physics and related disciplines.
This convergence of art and science occurs daily in the Fermilab Art Gallery. It is a space for art exhibitions, chamber music concerts and where the top quark and big bang are debated over coffee. It is also a quiet space for contemplation and beauty.