MONTH-LONG ART EVENT TO SPAN FOUR GALLERIES ACROSS PROVIDENCE
EXHIBITION INVESTIGATES THE ROLE OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS THEORY IN THE CREATIVE ARTS
RISD GELMAN GALLERY • GRANOFF LOWER LOBBY GALLERY • GRIN GALLERY • AS220 PROJECT SPACE
OPENING RECEPTIONS SEPTEMBER 19
GRANOFF LOWER LOBBY GALLERY: 5PM – 7PM
GELMAN GALLERY: 6PM – 8PM
GRIN GALLERY: 5PM – 9 PM
AS220 PROJECT SPACE: Opening Reception Saturday October 5
PROVIDENCE, RI – Beginning September 19, 2013, three exhibitions exploring the theme of Complex Systems Theory in the creative arts will simultaneously.
With RISD’s Gelman Gallery serving as flagship venue, artist/curator Steven Pestana (MFA ’14 Digital+Media), sought to reach beyond RISD’s walls into the broader community by including Brown University and AS220 Project Space (opening Saturday October 5). Pestana’s own work is spotlighted in a concurrent debut solo exhibition at GRIN Gallery.
Complex Systems Theory, or Complexity for short, examines how sophisticated networks emerge from combinations of elements following simple rules in fields as diverse as economics, genetics, computer science, and ecology. So vital have the revelations been in this field that physicist Stephen Hawking has remarked “The next century will be the century of complexity.”
Since the early 20th Century, rule-based art has inspired evocative, aesthetically powerful, and intellectually engaging work. Artists using these processes, like Sol LeWitt, Brian Eno, William S. Burroughs, have all acknowledged a tremendous debt to rule-based generative systems. Artist/Curator Pestana draws parallels between complex systems and the creative process:
“When I began studying Complexity Theory and realized that its underlying principles resonate throughout the universe, I suddenly understood that the same possibility of infinite variation from just a few simple elements also appeared not only in my own work, but throughout the history of art."
On the East Side, visitors to Gelman Gallery can expect a broad exploration of this subject across architecture, sculpture, digital media, and beyond. Granoff Gallery offers a narrower focus on algorithmically generated simulations in the realm of the arts. Downtown, AS220 Project Space, curated in collaboration with Gallery Director Neal Walsh, considers the means by which complex networks represent (and feed back into) current events. Across town in Olneyville’s upcoming gallery district, newcomer GRIN Gallery explores complexity in human cognition, and the resulting speculative possibility of new forms of perception and alternate universes.
With the emergent intelligence of today’s global network making international headlines on a regular basis, a critical appraisal of the complexity in our own day-to-day lives is especially timely. The work on display at these exhibitions invites critical reflection on our surroundings in hopes of inspiring new perspectives on relationships that were once invisible to us.