The List Visual Arts Center closes the year with two new exhibitions: Eve Andrï¿½e Laramï¿½e's examination of digital technology and a group show on the dynamics of landscapes. Both shows are curated by the List Center's Assistant Curator Jennifer Riddell and run through June 27.
ART OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Eve Andrï¿½e Laramï¿½e: A Permutational Unfolding, a new installation by the New York-based artist, explores the history of digital technology. It is presented as part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival, a citywide exposition of art and programs exploring digital media taking place through May 16.
Ms. Laramï¿½e's inspiration was an encounter in a history museum more than two years ago with a Jacquard loom. This machine, invented in 1801 by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, operates on a binary system of punched cards upon which the fabric pattern is encoded. These punch cards are identical in function to those employed until the mid-20th century in computational devices. Ms. Laramï¿½e explores these and other resonances between the prehistory of digital technology -- going back more than 200 years -- and the modern era.
To emphasize the fact that digital technology -- considered by most a feature of contemporary culture -- is part of a centuries-old history, Ms. Laramee's installation may initially startle the viewer with its appearance. It is not a 21st-century cybersalon; instead, it transforms the gallery into a Baroque-era drawing room such as might have existed during Joseph-Marie Jacquard's time.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with essays by art and cultural historians Barbara Maria Stafford of the University of Chicago and Jonathan Crary of Columbia University, with an introductory essay by the curator.
Works by the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a contemporary artist collaborative, and artists Jessica Bronson, Olafur Eliasson, Jacci Den Hartog, Peter Minchell and Olaf Nicolai examine our relationship and connection with the landscape we inhabit, rather than to pictorial issues. Each piece explores a dynamic relationship to various conceptions of landscape, within which humankind is embedded rather than positioned as an outside observer. To this end, Landscape: Outside the Frame focuses on work that actively engages the visitor on intellectual and experiential levels, occasionally with wry humor or playfulness.
A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 30).