DATES: November 5th – 15th, 2003
TIMES: 12-6pm (every day); 12-10pm (Thursdays)
LOCATION: The IDEA Gallery
ADDRESS: 701 Tillery St. (map)
ADMISSION: Free admission
MEMBER PREVIEW: Nov 4th, 6-8pm
(featuring an artists’ roundtable)
PUBLIC OPENING: Nov 4th, 8-10pm
(complimentary beverages and food)
- Greg Niemeyer (Berkeley, CA)
Organum video installation
- Chris Chafe (Stanford, CA)
Organum video installation
- Lorenzo Wang & Christine Liu (Berkeley, CA)
Organum video installation
- David Wilcox (Austin, TX)
Large-scale digital prints
About the Exhibit
AMODA presents local Austin artist David Wilcox and Berkeley-based conceptual artist Greg Niemeyer. The exhibition features two installations of Wilcox’s large-scale digital prints, and Niemeyer’s video projection installation entitled Organum. This digital animation was created in collaboration with Chris Chafe, Professor of Music at Stanford University and Niemeyer’s former students Christine Liu and Lorenzo Wang. A collection of stills from the piece will also be shown.
Wilcox’s body of work includes a focus on digitally manipulated photography, culminating in large-scale digital prints. His current series, Hamburger Landscapes, investigates the relationship between the early American landscape and the contemporary social landscape. Niemeyer’s work addresses scientific realities of bio-technological evolution and integrates these concepts and theories into aesthetic art forms. His digital animation piece Organum, creates a fantastic world of creatures who have been reduced to their essential organs, and who are propelled by the fundamental forces of nature, biology and society.
Bringing together these two digital artists in a single exhibition creates a viewing environment that complements and strengthens their individual work. Both Wilcox and Niemeyer are using the digital process to create fantastic worlds that draw the viewer in. These worlds metaphorically address societal issues and conflicts through a unique visual vocabulary, such as the biological automata of Organum and the impossibly large and idealized subjects of Hamburger Landscape.
In the allegorical world created, viewers consider their relationship to the issues presented in the exhibition, ranging from personal conflict and desire to broader conflicts and the promise of societal progress. These two artists use digital methods to create a visual language commensurate to their discourse on the human condition. This exhibition, as part of AMODA’s mission, expands the notion of the communicative power of art produced by digital means.
Greg Niemeyer studied Classics and Photography in Switzerland before he came to the US in 1992. As an MFA grad student at Stanford University, he founded SUDAC, the Stanford University Digital Art Center, in anticipation of the need for an academic space dedicated to the practical and theoretical exploration of digital media and art. SUDAC opened its first exhibit, Refresh: The Art of the Screensaver, at the Cantor Art Center and at artmuseum.net in 2000. After directing SUDAC for 3 years, Greg became an assistant professor for Digital Media at UC Berkeley. Here, he continues to teach and to pursue his creative research in the area of digital media installations and collaborations. Supported by the prestigious Intel Art and Technology Research Grant, he completed several digital media installations, which explore novel experiences with computing.
Niemeyer’s latest installation, in collaboration with Chris Chafe, is the Oxygen Flute, which translates the human-plant carbon cycle into four-channel music in real time. In collaboration with Chris Chafe and two animators, he is currently directing Voice Box Simulation, a planetarium animation and interactive application exploring the impact of the simulation of the human voice on the human subject. Niemeyer also recently organized two media conferences, 020202: Social Technologies and 030303: Collective Play, and participated in the core group which is developing the UC Berkeley New Media Initiative.
This exhibit will feature Niemeyer’s video piece Organum, which was created in collaboration with composer Chris Chafe and former students Lorenzo Wang and Christine Liu (more below).
Chris Chafe is an Associate Professor of Music, Director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at the Stanford University, a multi-disciplinary facility where composers and researchers work together using computer-based technology both as an artistic medium and as a research tool. Chris is a composer/cellist with research interests in using the computer as an aid to music composition and performance. His doctorate in music composition was completed at Stanford in 1983. Prior degrees in music were from the University of California at San Diego and Antioch College. He has done research in automatic music recognition and, at IRCAM in Paris, France in new methods for computer sound synthesis based on physical models of musical instrument mechanics. He has performed his music in Europe, the Americas and Asia, and has several compositions available on compact disc. This exhibit will feature Organum, created in collaboration with Greg Niemeyer, for which Chris provided sound design and music.
Organum is a computer graphics animated film (created by Greg Niemeyer) which establishes a symbiotic relationship between its synthetic images and its soundtrack. Composer Chris Chafe uses data from the digital images to generate the sounds made by the characters’ voices and by their movements through the world. Likewise, the animators (Lorenzo Wang and Christine Liu) rely on sound data to generate and to add nuance and expression to movement. In this way, the film avoids traditional cinematic privileging of image over sound, and insists instead on their mutual effect and interpenetration.
Organum explores what it means to be alive by introducing us to a world inhabited by flying organic and mechanical lungs that cannot see, but use sound to communicate and navigate. Although these creatures may seem visually alien to us, they remind us that knowledge is not reducible to visual or quantitative systems of knowing, but must be understood as a fully embodied world-sense. Organum bends the horizontal relationship between viewer and screen, offering instead a new axis of vision that swings and spins like a gyroscope, so that suddenly, we find ourselves face to face with our own visceral bodies that encounter the world through a constant exchange of air and breath and waves of sound.
Lorenzo has been freelancing computer graphics and design for three years, and holds a strong interest in the mechanics of game design and how interactivity will play the future. He has most recently worked with Greg Niemeyer on Organum as character artist and animator, and at ESC Entertainment as an assistant technical director for the upcoming Matrix: Revolutions movie.
Christine has been involved in graphics design and computer graphics for three years. She has worked closely with Greg Niemeyer for the past year on Organum as concept artist, texturer, lighter, and storyboard artist. She is currently visualizing the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics with Prof. Chris Chafe, improvising the look and feel of a planned remodeling by taking architectural designs and massaging them into saleable concepts.
David Wilcox is a photographer and digital artist whose work involves large-scale print installations. At age 16, Dave got his first job as an assistant butcher in a grocery store, where the grotesque reality of the job was offset by free cuts of choice meat. It’s a dilemma present in his work today, in which he addresses his own guilty pleasures while implicating larger societal issues. Dave moved to Austin in 2001 from Massachusetts, where he received his BA in Photography at Hampshire College. His installations have been featured in the Boston Cyber Arts Festival and galleries in western Massachusetts.
This exhibit will feature two large-scale inkjet prints from Wilcox’s Hamburger Landscapes series. Regarding these pieces, he says following: “The source of my work is my personal conflict over the things which I love and hate myself for loving. From religion to food and liquor, I embrace and despise these sumptuous things, which both fulfill and destroy me. In this series, Hamburger Landscapes, I am imagining a world that is the synthesis of some of these conflicting ideals. These landscapes are influenced by American painting of the mid 19th century, which commoditized the land of westward expansion, even as it romanticized and deified it. That sense of Arcadian overabundance is as contemporary as it is historic. It is present in the hamburger, our thoroughly American symbol of mobility, gratification and ruination. With the hamburger, these landscapes are built out of the conflicts of aspiration and entitlement, of piety and gluttony, of sarcasm and honesty. In this world I make no distinction between America and myself. We are both ruminating on that which we have wished for and upon ourselves. I use digital imaging in an attempt to mimic the way these images are composed in my head, by grasping photographic fragments and recomposing a whole that is a new visual experience outside my reality. This digital marriage of fluidity and verisimilitude allows me to construct rather than record, so that I can better merge several disparate ideas into one.”
The Austin Museum of Digital Art (AMODA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage the public and artists in the creation, understanding, and appreciation of digital art. The Exhibition Series is focused on presenting digital art in a gallery setting. More info →