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Visualizing new mediums at exhibitions

Exhibitions featuring dynamic, innovative approaches to art are featured in the AIMM building now through mid-April. (Vicki Wang / Photo Assistant)

Darkly-illuminated artwork went on display last week as two of this spring’s exhibitions opened up in the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building on Wednesday, March 14.

“Illuminating Data: Visualizing Information that Moves Our World” opened in the main art gallery, highlighting work in collaboration with the interactive multimedia program.

At the same time of this opening, “All Cats are Grey in the Dark: A Kappa Pi Art Honor Society Show” opened in the student exhibition spaces down the hallway.

According to the art gallery’s website, “(Illuminating Data) includes work by 20 artists who employ innovative approaches to visualizing data through dynamic installations, sculptures, algorithmically drawn prints, video, animation and many other forms of new media.”

While the work varied greatly within these new media, most stuck to the central theme of extracting some type of information and manifesting it in a physical or interactive manner.

Word extraction was one sub-theme that illustrated art’s ability to effectively show data.

“Similar Diversity” took on the 41 most frequent words found in the holy books of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism by incorporating them into a digital print that measured the words’ total frequencies and within in that broke them down by faith. The work brings to light the similarities and differences in these books without explicitly stating anything.

Small receipt printers line the wall in one corner of the room, with streams of paper flowing out to the floor. Every few seconds a new tweet is pulled off of Twitter in real time and printed onto this paper, resulting in a massive pile of intermingled tweets.

This piece, “Murmur Study,” is described as relaying the artist’s thoughts on the implications of increasingly networked lives.

While this exhibit centers on bringing data to light, All Cats are Grey in the Dark takes on a different theme — bringing together light and dark.

“Lights in Logs” — an installation piece — works towards this theme by placing a series of stumps around each other — all with light bulbs sitting atop them. This has the effect of setting the light on top of the logs in direct contrast to the darkness below.

One aspect that both shows have in common is the diversity of their mediums. From digital prints to receipt printers and from logs to photos, the exhibitions display how different forms of art can work towards a common theme in a fresh and effective manner.

“Illuminating Data” will be on display until April 18 and “All Cats are Grey in the Dark” will be on display until April 11.

Brendan McGrath


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