This dual exhibition presents the work of four contemporary artists, each using different media to observe and document the natural world, and explores the evolving relationship among the arts, humanities and sciences.
River Sojourn is a series of paintings created by American landscape painter, Sara Lubinski. A trained botanist, Lubinski’s science career included time spent learning about the ecology of the Mississippi River and many of our national parks. The beauty of these landscapes catalyzed her transition back to the easel, where she creates paintings that are deeply expressive of the natural environment.
Soundscapes explores how media and technology influences and mediates our experience of natural world. The exhibition includes works by three artists creating at the intersection of art, technology, and nature.
Shawn Decker’s electro-acoustic sound installation Prairie recalls the sights and sounds of the native prairie. Comprised of a field of 144 speakers atop thin, metal rods, each programmed to operate in randomized patterns of sound and movement, Prairie offers an immersive listening experience. Shawn Decker is a a composer, artist and a senior faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Brendan Baylor’s digital sound book, Iowa River Ideology/Function, utilizes sound recordings of natural and industrial systems taken by the artist along the Iowa River. The format creates an interactive experience in which manipulation of the pages change the sound. Baylor currently holds the Hulings Teaching Fellowship in Drawing and Printmaking at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.
Claudia Esslinger’s La Medida (the measurement) is a video installation examining the role of measuring systems in our understanding of the natural world. In Act 5: Proportion, the artist/scientist moves through a primordial world, accompanied by actual sounds recorded in the Omora Preserve of Japan and composed by collaborator Eric des Four. Esslinger works in media-based installation, video projection and collaborative performance and is professor of art at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.