Exibitol reviewed in the Albany Times Union
Exibitol reviewed in the Albany Times UnionDate posted: 2006-12-14 10:59:00
RPI class joins art and electronics
Students create works using music, film, artwork and new technology in exhibit
Stephen Belovarich looks at an exhibit by J. Craig Tompkins at the Exhibitol show at RPI. (Luanne M. Ferris / Times Union)
By DANIELLE FURFARO, Staff writer, Albany Times Union
First published: Thursday, December 14, 2006
TROY -- In a darkened room in the basement of West Hall, it seems warmer than in the rest of the building. Projected on one wall is the image of the wooden frame of a ski lodge being licked by moving flames. From somewhere in the room, speakers emit the crackling sound of a blaze.
A television a few feet from the projection shows interviews with masked members of the Earth Liberation Front, a radical group that destroys buildings to protest development on pristine land.
The piece, called "Terra Alert," was created by Dara Greenwald, a graduating student of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's iEar (Integrated Electronic Arts) program.
"The government is calling it eco-terrorism. Not a single person has been harmed by their actions," said Greenwald, 35. "I wanted to explore the ideas of the Earth Liberation Front."
Greenwald was one of about a dozen students showing off their work in Exhibitol, iEar's end-of-semester exhibition.
iEar is RPI's specialized master of fine arts program that incorporates elements of art, music and film with new technologies.
"Typically, you are either in art school or in music school or studying media," said RPI art department administrator Laura Garrison. "This program allows students to do interactive work or video or performance. We have people doing documentary and social commentary and there are the bio artists."
Jung Yoon Lee's project, "Pixelated Screen," turned a small hallway into a viewing platform. A screen was positioned at the end of the hall. As the viewer got closer, a sensor on the ceiling monitored their movements, changing the image into smaller pixels as the viewer came closer.
"I had a video clip of a waterfall and I fed that into a program I made," said Lee, 30, who moved from Korea to be in the program.
Ethan Bach billed "Unmistakable Tenderness" as the first piece in a work dealing with human emotions. To view the installation, the audience members had to take off their shoes and enter the room one at a time. Once inside, they found a number of medicinal foods, such as green tea and chocolate, on a white table next to a white rug and deep red couch. Behind a red, wooden partition, a baby doll cried in various tones as it was soothed on an automatic baby rocker.
"I'm exploring the bridge between art and holistic medicine," said Bach, 34. "The baby is to represent something meaningful in the back of our heads."
Furfaro can be reached at 454-5097 or by e-mail at email@example.com.