Good Machines

December 4, 2016 – January 7, 2017
Reception: Sunday, December 4, 3 – 6pm

Curated by Natalie Jacobson

Watch videos of the technology-driven artworks in “Good Machines”:

How can we use technology to better connect to others and create new experiences for ourselves? This group exhibition explores this question through works that exploit machine and technology and use interactivity as a form of performance, while looking at the role that potentiality and destruction play within those experiences. Artists whose work often uses technology as a medium are invited to create machines that will generate a gesture, a kind of “drawing” in the form of a mark, sound, light, object, or movement. Due to direct or indirect public interaction with the machines, and within the confines of the gallery space, these drawings will change over time, and possibly be destroyed in the process. Come join in!

“Good Machines” draws inspiration from Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), an organization started in the 1960s by Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer that brought artists, engineers, and cutting-edge technology together with the goal of reshaping human relationships to machines, information, and community. Artists who worked with E.A.T. include Fujiko Nakaya, Andy Warhol, John Cage, Yvonne Rainer, Forrest Myers, Öyvind Fahlström, Lucinda Childs, Alex Hay, Frank Stella, Michel Auder, John Chamberlan, Nancy Graves, Ralph Hocking, Joan Jonas, Les Levine, Michael Netter, Brigid Polk, Larry Rivers, Lucas Samaras, Richard Serra, Tony Shafrazi, Michael Snow, Keith Sonnier and many, many others. Their goals were generous in that they wanted to reach people traditionally outside of the art world, as well as take art outside of the gallery context and insert it into the everyday in ways that opened up new conversations.

Niki Passath performance at Longli Media Arts Festival, China, October 2016. Photo credit: Franz Shuber.

Niki Passath performance at Longli Media Arts Festival, China, October 2016. Photo credit: Franz Shuber.

For more information on E.A.T. and its history, see: Experiments in Art and Technology: A Brief History of Experiments and Projects, by Woody Vasulka.

Artists in the exhibition are Taylor Hokanson in collaboration with J. Stephen Lee, Richard Holland, Eric Lunde, Niki Passath, Jesse Seay, and Philip von Zweck. The exhibition runs from December 4, 2016 – January 7, 2017.

About the artists:

Taylor Hokanson is an artist, educator and open source hardware advocate. His practice revolves around the creative opportunities formed by online communities and computer-aided fabrication tools. This research informs carefully engineered objects that question the myth of singular authorship, our expectations of post-digital functionality, and the absurdity of human-human and human-computer interaction.  Hokanson’s work has been shown in Austria, Canada, Estonia, India, Italy and throughout the United States. In keeping with the nature of his research, online venues form an equally important distribution medium. See the following websites for more information: taylorhokanson.com; diylilcnc.org; github.com/TaylorHokanson; lynda.com/search?q=taylor+hokanson.

Richard Holland is a 2003 JD/MA/MFA graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He had his first gallery show while still in high school, in 1989, and never really came to his senses. Along with Duncan MacKenzie, he founded the art blog and podcast Bad at Sports in 2005. He received grants from the Illinois Arts Council in 2004 and 2009. He has lectured and led numerous panel discussions on art, business and legal issues faced by artists, and comics at a varied string of venues including apexart, threewalls, the National Museum Publishing Seminar, the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and College Art Association. He has been a visiting artist at Bradley University, Washington State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time he is an attorney in private practice, a realtor, and father to two future ninjas.

J. Stephen Lee is a graphic designer and educator currently located in Portland, Oregon. He has experience in art direction, motion graphics, and UI/UX. He received an AB in Studio Art/Psychology at Dartmouth College and an MFA in Graphic Design/Integrated Media at CalArts.

Eric Lunde is not an artist that specializes in any one talent, media, or genre. My work has ranged from performance and performance art, experimental audio to 2D drawing and wall sculpture/installation. I have numerous audio releases in various formats released through audio concerns here in the US and throughout the world.
Niki Passath studied Violoncello and Architecture in Graz, Austria and made his diploma in Media Art and Digital Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.The longterm involvement with classical music instruments lead to his interest in automatons, machines and robots.  On the one hand he develops robots which draw their experiences as traces on different surfaces, on the other hand he is using the 3D-printing technology to transfer digital content back from the virtual to the reality. Passath lives and works in Vienna.

Jesse Seay is an artist and associate professor in the Department of Audio Arts & Acoustics at Columbia College Chicago. She holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her sound-producing kinetic sculpture has shown at the Hyde Park Art Center, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and is on permanent display at the University of Chicago. Find her online at www.jesseseay.com.

Philip von Zweck‘s conceptually driven works ranges from radio broadcasts and participatory public projects to solely authored paintings. He was a founding member of the radio art collective Blind Spot (2005-2008) and producer of the weekly sound art radio program Something Else (1995-2010) on WLUW, Chicago, director of the living room art gallery VONZWECK (2005-2008) and his office gallery D Gallery (2011-present). Solo projects have been presented at The Knockdown Center, NYC; INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, NYC; 65GRAND, Chicago; Performa 11, New York; NADA Hudson/INVISIBLE-EXPORTS; The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Gallery 400, Chicago; three-walls, Chicago. He is the founder of the Chicago Artificial Birding Society and President and CEO of Thornberry, producer of the world’s finest doorstops. He is represented by 65GRAND.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546
PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW WINTER GALLERY HOURS:  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday 1 – 5pm; Friday 1-4pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.
For additional information, visit www.riversideartscenter.com
or contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Ise at claudineise.rac[at]gmail.com.

Luis Sahagun: An Old God Renewed

Opens October 23, 2016 in the RAC Sculpture Garden
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 23 from 3-6pm

“In the beginning there was only darkness.
The atmosphere had no taste.
Anonymous ancestors magically appeared,
Alvaro’s History was erased.

Angels came to hear him sing,
For it was the rise of a new king.”
-Creation Story

Luis Sahagun An Old God Renewed, 2016 wood, drywall, cement, screws, spray paint, acrylic, oil, resin, & metal Courtesy the artist

Luis Sahagun
An Old God Renewed, 2016
wood, drywall, cement, screws, spray paint, acrylic, oil, resin, & metal
Courtesy the artist

Luis Sahagun creates paintings, sculptures and objects that serve as icons of an invented personal mythology. He is interested in the overlap of memory, imagination, and his own ancestral legacy and art, and describes himself as as “a quixotic artist who channels the working ethics of a construction worker on a romantic quest to use art to empower working class sensibilities.”

Sahagun’s practice is deeply informed by his experience as a laborer, construction worker and product designer. Instead of the painter’s traditional brush, palette knife and canvas, Sahagun employs saws, knives, and engineered wood particle board as his primary tools and media. These modes of production have led Sahagun to develop an idiosyncratic personal vernacular that remains proudly embedded within the everyday realities of his blue-collar upbringing. He describes his outdoor sculpture An Old God Renewed as “an anthropomorphic panther that serves as a portal for human souls to exit our realm and enter the mythology that I have constructed.” Within the Panther’s eye is a depiction of the moon, which provides the symbolic source of energy for the portal’s ability to function.

Importantly for Sahagun, the moon also represents a world where “the fallen…friends and family members that have been murdered due to the violence found within my own Chicago Southland community” now reside. The sculpture is Sahagun’s offering to this familiar yet strange, distant yet ever-present “old god,” the moon. Through symbol, metaphor, and mythic storytelling, Sahagun’s works construct a viscerally powerful alternative vision of Chicago community history, through which we may ponder the minute alongside the infinite, the mundane in concert with the divine.

Luis Sahagun An Old God Revisited, 2016 (detail)

Luis Sahagun
An Old God Renewed, 2016
(detail)

This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 1 ‐ 5pm.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.