Cosmic Rays Digital
505 S. Blount Street
Raleigh NC 27601
RECEPTION: March 3rd 6-9 pm
VISIT / GALLERY HOURS
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The Digital Wilds
March 3 – April 2, 2023
The artists selected for this exhibition observe human-made digital technology as it interacts with the natural world. The works in this exhibition include computerized bivalves, botanical fakery, species’ séances, and vegetal matrices. Through the twisting tendrils of digital code, these artists render nature as both wild and programmed, toggling between responsive and impervious states.
The Digital Wilds is an exhibition of Cosmic Rays Digital, a new programming initiative of the Cosmic Rays Film Festival.
The artists selected for this exhibition critically engage with the new media technologies that surround us– technologies that threaten to ensnare us at the same time they promise to set us free– while investigating digital forms of privacy, identity, and nature.
eteam (Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger)
Melodie Mousset and Edo Fouilloux
Patricia Dominguez, 2022
Departing from the artistic interpretation of Patricia Domínguez’s learning in Madre de Dios (Peru) and at the Wellcome Collection, Matrix Vegetal grows as an inquiry from experimental ethnobotany, South American quantum thinking, dream fiction, and organic connection technologies to expand the perception of the vegetal and the spiritual world.
As part of her research to realize this work, the artist has spent a month of apprenticeship with Amador Aniceto, a healer and curandero living and practicing in Madre de Dios. Under his guidance, Domínguez has activated an intimate process of connecting with the living, multi-species language and knowledge of the vegetal world. In order to realize this, the artist aimed at achieving a temporary disengagement from the “digital matrix,” activating an alliance with plants and the vegetal matrix instead, through patience and focus on the present moment. In doing so, Domínguez establishes a connection with the more-than-human language of the earth, and speculatively accesses a portal to the quantum world, revealing how plants and their multiple spirits operate.
Patricia Domínguez’ main projects have been exhibited at New Museum (solo), Welcome Collection, Gwangju Biennale, Gasworks London (solo), Transmediale Berlin, Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Seoul Museum of Art, Museo del Barrio, Bronx Museum, and FLORA ars+natura among others.
In 2022 she received Beca Botinn and in 2021 the Simetria residency award to go to CERN and contributed to the book Documents for Contemporary Art Issue HEALTH DoCA. She is currently director of the ethnobotanical platform Studio Vegetalista.
Séance for Dead Horse Bay
Meredith Drum, 2021
Séance for Dead Horse Bay is a mashup of affinities and collaborations. First it is a tribute to the non-human ghosts living in New York City’s waterways and references the history of Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay. Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, the bay was a dumping ground for bodies from neighboring horse rendering plants that manufactured glue and fertilizer. Second the animation is a tribute to Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion studies and the development of cinema. Third it showers love on Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round. Forth it is a product of Albena Baeva’s Solidarity Machine, an AI instruction device that builds on Fluxus scores to question received notions of order and hierarchy. Finally, Séance for Dead Horse Bay is a collaboration with composer Andrea Williams, whose score invites all the witches.
Meredith Drum is an interdisciplinary artist creating video, animation, installation, augmented reality, and participatory public art. Her projects center around the cultivation of care for others, both humans and non-humans. She is influenced by cinema history, science fiction, climate justice, her family and friends, multispecies anthropology, cultural studies, intersectional feminism, and walking in the woods. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Microscope Gallery, CEC Arts Link, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Wassaic Project, ISSUE Project Room, Wave Farm Transmission Arts with New York State Council on the Arts, and others have supported Drum’s work.
Our Non-Understanding of Everything
eteam (Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger)
Our Non-Understanding of Everything” is a daily practice. An accessible part is this growing video-series, in which we stage and record ways of how our personal tech devices and their building parts exist in a possible future, shared between the architecture of circuitry, political thought, digital and analogue interaction and actions of the natural world.
eteam is a two people collaboration who uses video, performance, installation and writing to instigate and articulate encounters at the edges of diverging cultural, technical and aesthetical universes. Traversing over earthly planes they trigger communication, collaborations and transformations between humans, nature, and technologies.
Through their artistic practice eteam finds ways to collaborate with people who operate on the edges of mainstream culture and the marketplace. They are drawn to those willing to experiment, cross genres and cultural boundaries, they forge proximity and make visible the interconnections we humans share with land, animals, plants, ghosts, deities and objects. Eteam’s work is land- and process-based, often long term, situational and happens in places they don’t inhabit permanently. Practicing art is their way to enter the “outside,” pay close attention to the details, while trying to understand the whole.
Eteam’s narratives have screened internationally in video- and film festivals, they lectured in universities, presented in art galleries and museums and performed in the desert, on fields, in caves and on mountaintops, in ships, black box theaters and horse-drawn wagons.
They could not have done this without the generous support of Creative Capital and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Art in General, NYSCA, NYFA, Rhizome, CLUI, Taipei Artist Village, Eyebeam, Smack Mellon, Yaddo and MacDowell, the City College of New York, the Academy of Visual Art HKBU and the Fulbright Scholar Program, among many others. Their novel “Grabeland” was published by Nightboat Books in February 2020.
They are represented by Gallery M29, Cologne Germany and Video Data Bank, Chicago.
Tama Hochbaum , 2022
“Becoming the Scarlet Sage” and “Becoming the Morning Glory” came out of my ongoing series titled ANTI-SELFIES. Those images use a gridded portrayal of the artist in a starring role, double-exposed with a grid of anywhere from 9 to 841 parts, a screen shot of the camera roll in my iPhone. In these current images, the self-portrait is relegated to the 2nd layer, the so-called background, with depictions of the natural world gaining primary focus. The gridded modules with my body contour, most clearly seen in the upper part of both images, do move in and out of prominent focus, playing with the notion of figure/ground. I am there, in the modules of the grid, but it is my shadow that appears in tens of iterations, rather than my face.
These pieces were made last summer, when I was daily consumed with the wildflowers growing in my yard, and the bees and butterflies pollinating there. These digital composite images live in two dimensions. Instead of a deep, perspectival space that I have mostly occupied over my years as an artist, these gridded images flatten out, with the individual squares parading across the surface of the picture plane as mosaics. This compositional device generates a tension in the play between fragmentation and cohesion, between seeing the landscape as a whole and separating the layers, hence seeing the many discrete images, “reading” them individually, in sequence, like text. In “Becoming the Morning Glory” a small image of the artist with my new glasses appears towards the lower mid part, with the glasses themselves just next to that, a sly comment on the act of seeing, and, in the case of these two pieces, of seeing over time.
Tama Hochbaum was born in the Bronx, in NYC, and received her BA from Brandeis University in Fine Arts and an MFA in painting from Queens College, CUNY. In 1996 she moved to Chapel Hill, NC and has been a photo-based artist for the last 25 years.In the Spring of 2022 She created 90+ video projections for a Hildegard Von Bingen opera, ORDO VIRTUTUM, that was presented at CAM Raleigh. She was represented by George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco for 10 years. Hochbaum had an exhibition at CAM Raleigh in 2018 – “OVER TIME: Imaging Landscape”. A monograph of her work, SILVER SCREEN, was published by Daylight Books in 2015.
Kristin Lucas, 2023
A visit to the arboretum is a cosmic homecoming. At once welcoming and restorative, the arboretum is a living archive that contains patterns, rhythms, and cycles of the universe. Amid the geometry and harmonious vibrations are human routines of attention and care.
“Cosmic WildflowAR” (2022) proposes an interplay between our screens and our surroundings that includes rather than separates us from nature. Tap your screen to place wildflowers in your surroundings. The garden you create is temporal, existing only while you are willing to give it attention. Digital interlopers will visit and enjoy your garden (and may even take you for a flower). Tune in and attune yourself as you wander about a chance composition of humming flowers.
Cosmos flowers are known to thrive in many climates. As symbols of kinship, peace, tranquility, and infinity, they invite us to push past perceived limits and signal that change is possible.
Concept, direction, 3d modeling, and 3d animation by Kristin Lucas.
Code co-written with Joe McKay.
Kristin Lucas explores entanglements of art and life within everyday systems and paradigms, and creates work across genres of experimental media, network art, mixed reality, and performance art. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Engadget and Hyperallergic; and commissioned by institutions, such as Dia Center for Arts, FACT Liverpool, Rhizome.org, and The Whitney Museum. Lucas is represented by And/Or Gallery, Postmasters and Electronic Arts Intermix. She studied art at The Cooper Union and Stanford University, and serves as art faculty at University of Texas at Austin.
Future Sets uses CGI technology to draw connections between 17th Century Dutch flower painting and contemporary cultural questions surrounding technology and representation. The false narrative at the heart of the genre is widely recognized: bouquets ostensibly painted “from life” could not have in fact existed. As art historian Harry Berger Jr.* states, “still life proudly pretends, but only pretends, that its absolute unreality is the simulacrum of real presence. It parades the completely fake as the copy of a completely real original.” The works in Future Sets extend the “problems” of still life into the virtual Anthropocene, where we continue to center questions of what is true, beautiful, natural and authentic, and the virtual vanitas carries warning to the human species. The artifice involved in the illusion is on display, but the images remain ambiguous: Are they real or fake? Are they beautiful, banal, or horrible? Are they in full bloom or in decline?
Jessye McDowell is an artist and educator whose studio practice centers on cultural narratives surrounding technology. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., including solo shows at Sonoma State University and the Thomas Hunter Project Space at Hunter College (NYC), and group exhibitions at Well Well Projects (Portland, OR), the SPRING/BREAK Art Fair (NYC), Essex Flowers Gallery (NYC), Detroit Artist Market, the DUMBO Arts Festival (Brooklyn, NY), Mint Gallery (Atlanta, GA), Murray State University (Murray, KY), and the Front Gallery (New Orleans, LA). She has attended artist residencies at the Wassaic Artist Residency (Wassaic, NY); the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT); Harold Arts (Chesterfield, OH); and the Acre Artist Residency (Steuben, WI). McDowell received an MA in Media Studies from the New School University in NYC, and an MFA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Art & Animation at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the President of the New Media Caucus. She lives in Baltimore.
Melodie Mousset and Edo Fouilloux, 2021
The Jellyfish is a new collaborative work by Mélodie Mousset (HanaHana) and Edo Fouilloux that invites audiences to dive into the deep water of their consciousness in a mesmerizing, interactive virtual reality soundscape.
In a dream-like state underwater, visitors in a VR headset encounter ghostly marine creatures, glowing jellyfishes, beckoning for participants to sing through them.
The jellyfishes are controlled and animated with the pitch, vibration and intensity of the participant’s voice, creating a surreal choir of the self.
Mélodie Mousset’s practice extends across a number of mediums, including installation, performance, photography, sculpture and virtual reality. Her research draws upon personal biography to produce playful and psychologically charged narratives that investigate the interactions between the self and technology.
Mousset’s work is often meant to challenge the senses; elements are juxtaposed and transformed to create eerie and whimsical assemblages in which the body becomes a site for physical and spiritual exchanges with technology.
Mélodie Mousset studied at the EBAR (Rennes), ECAL (Lausanne), RCA (London) and completed her Masters of Fine Arts at CALARTS (Valencia). Her work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries worldwide, including CCS (Paris), MOCA (Los Angeles), Bund Museum (Shanghai), The Metropolitan Art Society (Beirut), SALTS (Basel) and will be soon presented at Helmhaus (Zurich).
She received the Swiss Art Award in 2015 and her latest multiplayer virtual reality artwork HanaHana, exhibited at Hek (Basel), Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Zabludowicz Collection (London), Swissnex (San Francisco) among other venue, won eight awards, including a Golden Halo award for “best artistic achievement” at VR days Europe, “the best artistic experience” from Beijing VR festival and recently the “Vision Awards” from VR Arles festival (2019).
Mousset is a public speaker and a visiting professor. She founded HanaHana Gmbh in 2019 and co-founded Patch XR in 2020, a software house specialized in creating interactive music driven experiences for XR.
Edo Fouilloux is a visual mind exploring sound, graphics, and playful interaction within immersive media. Since 2015, he has worked alongside research institutions, projects, and people around the world, seeking to expand new horizons of flow and immersion. His goal is to forge new ways of thinking and playing with real-time interactive audiovisuals.
Edo Fouilloux is the director and co-founder of Patch XR, a software house specializing in creating musical tools and playful experiences for Extended Realities (XR).
Stephanie Rothenberg, 2022
“Aquadisia” speculates on a new bioengineered oyster that can cure our ecological crisis. Merging fact and fiction, the multimedia project plays with the libidinous myth of the oyster as an aphrodisiac. Oysters are vital organisms of our ocean ecosystems. An individual oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of polluted water per day and their reefs provide critical habitats to marine life. In the narrative, technology is eroticized as cyborg oysters harvested in futuristic aquaculture farms convert toxic water into a magical fluid. The water flows freely into public water systems.
Yet ingesting this liquid induces a sensation beyond mere sexual desire and capitalist conquests of other bodies. It enables a new experience of sentience – a Sentience 2.0. It draws from black feminist writer Audre Lorde’s notion of the erotic as a power of feeling. For Lorde the erotic is a physical, psychic and emotional energy that can’t be reduced to a commodified good or systematized affect.
“Aquadisia” posits more-than-human sentience as a lubricant to speculate a new kind of eco-machine. As Aquadisia water flows freely into public water sources, can it create a global sentient machine of more perceptible humans? Humans that can embrace a more sensual interconnection with the cycle of life? Aquadisia invites you to take a drink.
“Aquadisia” is part of a larger multimedia installation developed through the support of the University at Buffalo Department of Art, Roux Center for Environmental Studies Bowdoin College, Z/KU Center for Art and Urbanism Berlin, Xenoform Labs San Francisco, and a 2020 Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF), a regrant partnership with Wave Farm and the New York State Council on the Arts Electronic Media and Film Program.
Stephanie Rothenberg’s interdisciplinary art draws from digital culture, science and economics to explore symbiotic relationships between human designed systems and biological ecosystems. Moving between real and virtual spaces, she engages a variety of media platforms that include interactive installation, drawing, sculpture, video and performance. She has exhibited internationally in venues and festivals including ISEA, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center (US), Sundance Film Festival (US), House of Electronic Arts / HeK (CH), LABoral (ES), Transmediale (DE), and ZKM Center for Art & Media (DE). She has received awards from Harpo Foundation and Creative Capital among others and has participated in numerous residencies including ZK/U in Berlin, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace/LMCC (US), and Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been widely reviewed including Artforum, Artnet, The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic. She is Professor in the Department of Art at University at Buffalo (US).