The expanded use of glass as an artistic medium emerged in the late sixties, roughly coinciding with the rise to prominence of New Media, a movement that explores advancements in technology through artistic innovations. Since then, New Media and glass developed in a similar trajectory: their nascent periods of direct (if somewhat sloppy) material experimentation were followed by increasingly slick expressions of skill for skill’s sake. And in their current midlife iteration, both have landed in realm of mature introspection, where craft is deftly applied to concept.
Pushing Buttons explores the work of contemporary artists who are utilizing glass in conjunction with New Media. Featured works include Jim Campbell’s “rhythmically distorted” photographs: Portrait of my Mother, 1996, and Portrait of my Father, 1994–1995. In each piece, Campbell presents an image of one of his parents encased in glass and connected by metal wire to an auditory recorded of the artist’s heartbeat. The glass surrounding the images becomes opaque in time with the rhythm of the heartbeat. Also shown in the exhibition is Paul DeMarinis’s sound piece for de forest, 2016–17, in which a heating element forces air through wall-mounted glass tubes tuned to neutral thirds, creating an array of rich tones.
The artists presented in this exhibition hail from myriad backgrounds, yet all share an inherently hybridized and inquisitive approach to making and thinking. Their intuitive and exploratory artistic practices have allowed them to integrate the endless creative and conceptual possibilities of combining glass with New Media, resulting in works that maximize the potentials of each.
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