Arts & Culture » Arts

In the Galleries: Electric is the Love at Laumeier Sculpture Park, closes January 22



Electric Is the Love This ninth annual iteration of the Kranzberg Exhibition Series is an ambitious, riotous and challenging display of reversals: bringing the outdoors in, transforming the tangible into the virtual, and making a friend of the often reticent realm of all things digital. Curated by Dana Turkovic, the exhibit draws on an unsung contingent of local talent working in the aural and technological arts. Robin Assner and Adam Watkins set the tone with video tableaus and a music video that feature footage from Laumeier Park. Yes, their piece proclaims, this is a show with a rock & roll anthem (written by local band Tone Rodent and remixed by sound artist Eric Hall). Drawing inspiration from the primitive PC game Minesweeper, Dave Derington creates a masterful and bewildering video game set in the park: From digital blocks, a computerized "curator" gradually creates sculptures for Laumeier piece by piece, integrating visitors' contributions as the project progresses toward completion at the end of the exhibition. In the glow of black-light, Christopher Ottinger's 2001-esque monolith hovers enigmatically upon a platform that's illuminated from beneath with neon. Yo_Cy (the collaborative team of Christine Yogiaman and Ken Tracy) blends handicraft and computer engineering in an elegant sculpture that harnesses light from the outdoor park into a spectral gridwork indoors. Titled Loom Portal, the piece is composed of eight miles of dangling fiber-optic monofilament that coalesces into a kind of abstract, flickering tapestry in the shape of a small window. Eric Hall utilizes chat-room technology to collect the ambient sounds of anonymous users attempting to "connect" in cyberspace. Entering the gallery where his installation is configured, the viewer is met by nothing other than the ambient bleeps, tics and hiccups of the atomized universe of computer users looking for, well, love. Here, the viewer may feel unnervingly implicated — as a half-participant, half-voyeur in this unpopulated space, all we're left with is the residue of our own confounding relationship to the electric ether. Through January 22, 2012, at Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills; 314-615-5278 or Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon-5 p.m. Sat. and Sun. (Outdoor grounds open daily from 8 a.m. to a half-hour past sunset).

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