Art will collide with science when artists from the U.S., the Czech Republic and Bosnia present an interdisciplinary group exhibition titled “Measured Confluence,” starting on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at SUNY Cortland’s Dowd Gallery.
“Measured Confluence,” featuring works that combine physics, fine art and performance in a collection of three-dimensional objects, installations, drawings and digital media video installations, will be displayed through Saturday, Feb. 22.
“Invited artists are combining formal aesthetics with a broad field of physics, resulting in a multidisciplinary culmination that attests to the innovation occurring in both art and sciences,” said Jaroslava Prihodova, Dowd Gallery director, explaining the exhibition title.
All lectures will be held at the university’s Dowd Gallery, located in the Dowd Fine Arts Center on the corner of Prospect Terrace and Graham Avenue. Programs are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are weekdays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays; and by appointment. The Dowd Gallery website contains details about exhibiting artists, and other programs scheduled in conjunction with this exhibition.
An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, Jan. 30. The event, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., will break with a performance by Selma Selma, a Bosnian-born conceptual and performance artist. The opening reception, as well as Dowd Gallery exhibitions and programs, are free and open to the public.
The exhibition programming, in order to place the artwork in a broader perspective, also will feature an artist’s talk, documentary screenings, panel presentation, artist’s workshop, performance, lectures and a gallery tour.
“The intent is to emphasize crossovers in techniques and approaches that appear in both disciplines,” she said. “The field of physics, employing reductive processes, works with principles that essentially break down nature into its smallest parts and draw conclusions based on observed relationships between these parts. In contrast, artists often use additive processes and juxtapositions in order to synthesize reality to create a new order. The most apparent commonality for both physics and art are in a moment of completion when the physical outcome becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
“The combination of science, technology, and art allows viewers to engage in a new sensory experience of nature that would not be otherwise possible,” Prihodova said. “The group of artists in this exhibition are exploring subcategories of physics, such as sound, optics, matter, time and force to arrive in a new synthesis of visual art and science.”
As a highlight of the exhibition, the gallery will host an artist and scholar from the Czech Republic, Robert Vlasak from the School of Art and Design, Studio of Natural Materials, Jan Evangelista Purkyne University, in a mini-residency. The exhibition also will highlight work by one of Vlasak’s Czechia colleagues, Pavel Mrkus of Jan Evangelista Purkyne’s School of Art and Design, Studio of Time-based Media.
Additional events include:
Artist’s Workshop: Robert Vlasak, visiting artist from Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem, Czechia, will lead a workshop on “Blacksmithing: Material Science” on Thursday, Jan. 30. The one-day, three-part event begins at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 12:30 p.m. The demonstration of traditional blacksmithing techniques while emphasizing the science of metallurgy combined with formal considerations for object-making will take place in the foundry located beside the Professional Studies Building.
Performance: Bosnian-born conceptual and performance artist Selma Selma will offer “Super positional Intersectionalism” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30. Her one-woman act is based on the idea that a quantum-scale interaction can physically exist in multiple places simultaneously. The fluidity and numerous possible outcomes built into reality, space and time stand as a metaphor for the diversity of individual identity.
Gallery Talk: Sally Perch, a faculty member at the glassblowing labs at both the University of Massachusetts and the University of Vermont, will discuss “The Art, Science and Sound of Glass” on Sunday, Feb. 2. The event will begin at 4 p.m. A visual artist and scientific technician, Perch will talk about the history, art, music and science of glass. The art of glassmaking has been a catalyst for different cultures coming together throughout history, she said. “It has been a unique material that has helped with many scientific discoveries, including the telescope, microscope, bell jar, light bulb, semiconductors, fiber optics and many more. It is a material that literally shaped and enhanced our world.”
Panel Discussion: Visiting artist Robert Vlasak will introduce his research and art practice in the School of Art and Design, Studio of Natural Materials, at Jan Evangelista Purkyne University, Czechia, during a panel presentation at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. Vlasek’s creation brings together technology, traditional craft, art and science. Meanwhile, Eric Edlund, an experimental physicist and assistant professor in SUNY Cortland’s Physics Department, will reflect on his experience of creating images with objects for this show. “These images address ideas of representation, accuracy and the essence of novel undertakings, explorations that lead one to unexpected places and new ideas,” Edlund said. Jaroslava Prihodova, Dowd Gallery director, will moderate the subsequent discussion with the panelists.
First Friday: A guided tour of the exhibition has been organized by the Cultural Council of Cortland County, to take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7.
Documentary Screening: On Thursday, Feb 13, the gallery will present “Between Art and Science,” a compilation of short films featuring artists and scientists that place their practice within the cross-section of art and science. The event begins at 5 p.m. Films will include one on Erik and Martin Demaine, a father and son creative duo from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Another features John Edmark, a self-described artist, designer and inventor who creates beautiful, infinite 3-D printed designs. Other films are titled “Semiconductor” and “Studio Swine.”
Artist’s Talk: Ariana Gerstein, an interdisciplinary artist and associate professor of cinema at Binghamton University, will address “the idea of discrete” in the film “Working with Time” on Thursday, Feb. 20. “Particle-built time rings true for filmmakers,” she has said. “A series of isolated flashes only become perceptible as a flow — the river of time — when there are enough of them.” The sense of “the flow of time” results from the cumulative perception of minds entangled within the complex ways of perceiving bodies, she notes. “It is seductive, convincing, but like everything else, it should endure examination and questioning.” The event will start at 5 p.m.
Documentary screening: “CERN & the Sense of Beauty,” a full feature film with English subtitles directed by Valerio Jalongo, will be shown at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the gallery. The film explores the beauty and art found behind the walls of the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.
Artist’s Talk: Monteith McCollum, an interdisciplinary artist and associate professor of cinema at Binghamton University, will concentrate on the topic of film and sound art in his talk, titled “Between Mediums,” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27. “My work is often inspired by objects and tactile forms. Performance and sculpture expand upon the limits of cinema, building new ways to experience the ephemeral.”
Visit the Dowd Gallery website for details about other programs scheduled in conjunction with this exhibition. For more information about the gallery or to request group tours, contact Prihodova at 607-753-4216 or email@example.com.
“Measured Confluence” is supported by the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association grant, SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services Corporation, Campus Artist and Lecture Series and the SUNY System Administration Conversation in the Disciplines Program.