BRIC Rotunda Gallery is pleased to announce In/Formation, a group exhibition curated by Elizabeth Ferrer. The artists in In/Formation employ widely varying media and representational approaches to examine the radically changing nature of information systems and vehicles in the digital era. Leslie Alfin, Louisa Bufardeci, [dNASAb], Penelope Umbrico, and Ward Shelley present works that express the effects of information overload brought about by rapidly transforming websites such as Google and Wikipedia. In the current environment, information is ubiquitous but not necessarily stable or even accurate. Rather, it is literally in formation—relentlessly growing in quantity and endlessly mutable.
The sense that information can no longer be understood as a fixed truth, but as fluid and constantly shifting in interpretation, fuels and complicates the viewer’s engagement with these works. In 4,238,053 Suns from Flickr (partial) 10/1/08, Penelope Umbrico presents an overabundance of imagery, mirroring the sensory overload that comes from the incessant flow of images and information in electronic media. Umbrico’s large-scale Suns is a visually stunning panorama of photographs of sunsets, all taken from the photo-sharing site, Flickr. Leslie Alfin produces sculptures, installations, and twodimensional works based on print-outs of words and images yielded from Google searches. In Googling her own name or other questions, the search results have included both relevant information as well as random websites that she melds into her work.
Louisa Bufardeci’s series Some Material Flags re-envisions flags from numerous countries around the world. Her works present new national symbologies with an invented code of crescents, circles, bars, and other forms made to represent statistically measured characteristics of a nation’s inhabitants (level of Internet usage, proportion of people who are on the political right or left, percentage of unemployed people). Ward Shelley constructs diagrammatic paintings that chart the course of particular art historical movements or figures; each functions as an organic, if idiosyncratic, visual process of archiving recent historical data. His intricate charts grow and stem out, resulting in intricately complex links and webs of connection between events, people, and happenings.
For his iPod Ecosystems, [dNASAb] manipulates the mechanisms of iPods, personal DVD players, and other electronic devices, and adding elements devised from plastics and other materials, the artist notes a parallel between his processes and the manner in which cars are customized by amateurs. The subject of informational systems is ultimately the viewer—the system only becomes activated, and useful, when a viewer connects data to transform it into meaningful information. What marks these works is the paradoxical nature that drives each forward, a push and pull between digital space and organic growth, between technology and nature.]
In conjunction with the exhibition, a free Drop-In Flag-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, December 6 from 1 to 4 pm. BRIC Rotunda Artist Teachers will lead a family day of personal flag making inspired by Louisa Bufardeci’s Some Material Flags series included in the exhibition. Groups are welcome to stop by throughout the afternoon to find their flag making talent. Also, a forum around the theme Do artist residencies work? will be held on Wednesday, December 10 at 7 pm. This discussion is geared towards visual artists and arts administrators considering artist residencies by addressing their benefits, challenges, and logistics. The panel will consist of BRIC Rotunda Director Elizabeth Ferrer, Smack Mellon Programs Manager Jeanne Gerrity, and artist Chitra Ganesh.