July 19, 2008 - Wood Street Galleries - Out of this World
July 19, 2008

Out of this World

“Out of this World”
July 11 – September 13, 2008

www.woodstreetgalleries.org

PITTSBURGH—Wood Street Galleries presents new works by Jean-Pierre Aube, Maria Antelman, Vera-Maria Glahn, Marcus Wendt and Gail Wight in the exhibit “Out of this World.” The artists investigate macro and micro cosmologies in the form of an interactive installation, video installations and photography.

Jean-Pierre Aube Artist and programmer, Jean-Pierre Aube holds an MFA from Université du Québec a Montréal. His work work has consistently used recuperative technology and data acquisition systems to question nature. Since 2000, he has worked on capturing the sounds of the aurora borealis through the use of very low frequency receivers. His VLF.Natural Radio project is being presented as a flat screen video work.

The artist writes that:

VLF frequencies are almost unclouded by man-made telecommunication transmissions. However, as digital and wireless technologies evolve, the use of these frequencies for communication is overpowering the naturally produced waves of the Northern Lights (the bird like sounds heard here) and other climate-related signals. For example, Russian nuclear submarines and American military beacons use VLF frequencies to communicate. In this work, one can hear the regular rhythm of a submarine sonar device in the higher frequencies. These man made signals override the natural phenomena active on the low frequencies spectrum. Eventually, VLFwaves will be completely drowned out by the signals of various telecommunication systems.

Also being presented, the video installation “Titan”. The artist writes:

In my video, the Huygens data (Huygens is the name of a European Space Agency drone send to crash on the surface of Titian) are parsed in a database and then organized into graphics. By using slit-scan technique, the speed of Huygens, and density of the atmosphere are analyzed by my software which organizes the data and arranges it into charts. The title is a
direct reference to a 2001 : Space Odyssey scene, Jupiter, and Beyond the Infinite, also known as the Stargate Sequence. The scene was created by Douglas Trumbull. At the time, Trumbull was a graphic artist for the NASA. He adapted for cinema a technique named slit-scan used by photographers. Using long exposure time along with camera movement, the technique creates the illusion of movement.

Vera-Maria Glahn and Marcus Wendt:
will present their interactive video installation, “The Orbiter”.

The Orbiter takes possession of all the senses. It is a place for visitors to lie down and relax,
watching the projection above them. With a small gesture, just pointing upwards, the visitor can
insert new stars into orbit with unique visual and musical characteristics.

The dream of reaching for the stars is as old as mankind itself. The mathematics of planetary
orbits, the perfection of natural geometrical forms fascinates and inspires scientists and artists
alike. Even music principles such as tonality or phase displacement are based upon
computational ideas and find corresponding equations in The Orbiter’s structure.

The music is played on a scale of concentric circles, visible in some of the scenes, with higher
tones on the larger circles, bass notes on the smaller circles. The bigger you let a star grow
before you pull back your hand to insert it into orbit, the louder it plays.
Long with the stars orbiting on the large ceiling screen above the player, the surround sound
orbits in the room on 4 high-tone-channels, supported by a sub bass and a body shaker
speaker underneath the participants couch, making low bass notes physically acute.

Each version of The Orbiter features various scenes with different graphics, sounds and
behavior. Some create an illusionary Night sky, playing more melodic or ambient sounds.
Others experiment with the possibilities of graphic abstraction and synthesizer type sounds,
allowing you to even play drum`n bass.

Vera-Maria Glahn born 1983, Glahn studied Visual Communication at the School of Art and Design in Kassel, Germany, focusing on the design of interaction, of structures and systems as well as on curatorial and productional work.

Since 2004, Glahn has implemented the Live Visuals program of the annual Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival(GER), which includes a 4 nights program of experimental audiovisual performances in analogue and digital media, as well as club visuals, party nights and the bar logistics. The program is selected from an open call for proposals and in close relation to the online Platform SENDUNG.net for Live Visuals and Experimental Video, which she developed together with Marcus Wendt and ran since summer 2005.

Marcus Wendt is a 23-year-old artist and designer working in the field of digital media and audiovisual communication. He currently studies in the classes of
Prof. Joel Baumann (New Media) and Prof. Bjørn Melhus (Virtual Realities) at
the School of Arts and Design, Kassel. Since his enrolment to the Art School in Kassel, he became most interested in interactivity and the development of playful installations for the applied and artistic context. Ideas were often realised in collaboration with illustrators, artists or computer hackers.

Gail Wight’s Blow Out takes us from the infinitesimal to the galactic. The smashed test tubes in this series of photographs offer a personal cosmology that mocks, challenges and reveres all at once, dovetailing artistic and scientific explorations. Though seemingly homogenous at first glance, close viewing of each work reveals microscopic variations that prompt us to dwell on the big questions.

In grappling with human thought processes, Wight has tested and crossed many barriers. In her own words, she has:

made maps of various nervous systems, practiced art while under hypnosis, designed an artificial intelligence to read my tarot, read for hours to fish, conducted biochemical experiments on myself and others, executed medical illustrations in black velvet, worked on cognitive research projects, documented dissections of humans, dissected machines and failed to put most of them back together, freely made up vocabulary as needed, removed my teeth to model information systems, self-induced phobias concerning consciousnessin the plant kingdom, donated my body to science and then requested it be returned, observed nerve development in vivo, choreographed synaptic responses, translated EEGs into music, conducted a Cartesian exorcism on myself, and attempted to create cognitive models of my own confused state.

Maria Antelman

In tah pah taHbe’ – 2006 (4 min), a sequence of photographs brings the viewer to the empty and
rusty premises of a Space Research Center. In between simulators, future tower controls, wind
tunnels and hangars Hamlet’s soliloquy ah pah taHbe’ or “to be or not to be” is recited in the
artificial language Klingon.

Klingon was first conceived as a prop for the fictional Star Trek universe and soon developed into “the fastest growing language of the galaxy”. When Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI said “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have heard him in the original Klingon” he created food for thought. Who is Shakespeare, a human or a Klingon and who is the author of the fiction surrounding the fiction? Here sci-fi mythologies acquire flesh and bone and create a tragic –
comical maze where fantasy becomes more and more real, invading and ultimately taking over reality. The Klingon Khamlet was published by the Klingon Language Institute, as a result of the Klingon Shakespeare Restoration Project.

Antelman was born in Athens/Greece (1971). She studied Art History in Madrid/Spain. She is the creator and publisher of ozon magazine, published in Athens. She has collaborated as an assistant curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. She lives between San Francisco and New York City since September 2001. Maria Antelman creates videos by merging original photographs with found sounds and superimposed texts. Disparate socio-visual sources come together in her videos revealing a fictional aspect of reality: cowboys seeking answers in cryogenetics, bodybuilders straddling between scientific experiments and para-psychological phenomena, revolutionary re-enactors receiving messages from extra-terrestrials and aviators searching for parallel universes. Her interest originates in the motives, fears and desires that underlie different lifestyles.

An artist talk will be given by Jean- Pierre Aube on Saturday July 12th at 1:00pm.

Wood Street Galleries are located at 601 Wood Street above the T-Station in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, the Galleries are FREE and open to the public Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, call Wood Street Galleries at (412) 471-5605 or visit www.woodstreetgalleries.org

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