Drift

Exhibit dates: March 10 – April 16, 2011

David Bowen is internationally acclaimed for his kinetic sculptures and has exhibited his work extensively. He completed his MFA at the University of Minnesota in 2004 and currently lives and works in Duluth, MN. The artist is influenced by the work of Jean Tinguely and Cy Twombly, as well as more contemporary figures, Edwardo Kac and Stelarc.

Bowen’s work is concerned with aesthetics that result from interactive, reactive and generative processes as they relate to intersections between natural and mechanical systems. He produces devices and situations that are set in motion to create drawings, movements, compositions, sounds and objects based on their perception of and interaction with the space and time they occupy. The devices Bowen constructs often play both the roles of observer and creator, providing limited and mechanical perspectives of dynamic situations and living objects. The work is a result of a combination of a particular event and the residue left after the event. In some ways the devices are attempting, often futilely, to simulate or mimic a natural form, system or function. When the mechanisms fail to replicate the natural system, the result is a completely unique outcome. It is these unpredictable occurrences that Bowen finds most fascinating. These outcomes are a collaboration between the natural form or function, the mechanism, and the artist. This combination can be seen as an elaborate and even absurd method of capturing qualified data. Bowen sees the data collected in this manner as aesthetic data.

For the exhibition at Redux, Bowen exhibited “Tele-present Wind” and “Fly Lights”.

The installation “Tele-present Wind” consists of a series of 42 x/y tilting devices connected to thin dried plant stalks installed in the gallery, and a dried plant stalk connected to an accelerometer installed outdoors. When the wind blows it causes the stalk outside to sway. The accelerometer detects this movement transmitting it in real-time to the grouping of devices in the gallery. Therefore the stalks in the gallery space move in real-time and in unison based on the movement of the wind outside.

The installation “Fly Lights” consists of a series of 6 devices each with lights arranged in a ring around plastic spherical chambers containing various sized swarms of houseflies. Inside the chambers, along with the flies, are sensors that correspond to the direction of each of the spotlights. When the sensors detect the subtle movements of the fly a micro-controller in real-time will turn on a light in the respective direction. Thus the flies’ movements are amplified, throwing light throughout the space based on their movements. The collective result is a chaotic series of lights being projected into the space at various intervals and directions based on the subtle movements of the swarms.

David Bowen’s exhibition was a part of the Receiver Time Based Media Festival. The opening on Thursday, March 10, 2011 kicked off the festival. Receiver Time Based Media Festival was the first of its kind in downtown Charleston, SC. The festival featured artists working in time based media. Receiver Time Based Media Festival had 20+ artists involved coming from all over the country and a few from Canada. Some artists also attended the festival. Performances, video screenings, installations and kinetic sculptures were scattered all over the city in venues such as the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Saul Alexander Gallery in the public library, Robert Lange Studios, Communications Museum and others. The hope was to provide an event that would push the boundaries of the art scene and the community in Charleston, SC.

drift was on display at Redux Contemporary Art Center from March 10 – April 16, 2011. Admission was free and open to the public.

About David Bowen

David Bowen is a studio artist and educator. His work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions including: Brainwave at Exit Art, New York, NY, The Japan Media Arts Festival at The National Art Center, Tokyo, if/then at Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA, Artbots at Eyebeam, New York, NY and Data + Art at The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. His work has been featured in publications such as: Art in America, Leonardo and Sculpture Magazine. He was recently awarded Grand Prize in the Art Division in The Japan Media Art Festival and 3rd, Prize in the Vida 12.0 Art and Artificial Life International Awards. He received his BFA from Herron School of Art in 1999 and his MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture and Physical Computing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.