Arts & Culture » Arts

In the Galleries - NEW: Alternative Cloud Research at Hoffman LaChance

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Seven painting-scale digital prints-on-canvas comprise this exhibit by Chicago-based Vadim Gershman, each depicting a variation of airy photographic cloudscape. Look closer and tiny watermarks appear, stating that the images are copyrighted by Google, the search engine's logo diffusely warping into the depicted atmosphere. Imposed over each image, glossy, translucent text relays an enigmatic koan. "There are no solids. There are no things. There are only interfering and non-interfering patterns...," reads one, attributed to R. Buckminster Fuller. Others borrow from the Bible, Borges and Helen Keller. In the artist's statement, Gershman explains that he used open-source software to scour Google Street View for cloud imagery, mining this peripheral, seemingly extraneous, realm for its "spiritual potential." He has stored examples of the raw search data on a website and also compiled an animated video, displayed in an alcove at the rear of the gallery, in which a 300-frame loop cycles through captured cloud photos at 15 frames per second. And then there are the seven images — alternately white with billowy forms or deep blue with occasional white wisps — security-camera-like glimpses of unwitting celestial beings, exposed in a private moment. Through October 31 at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary, 2713 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-960-5322 or www.hoffmanlachancefineart.com. Hours: noon-3 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and by appointment.

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