Curator’s Selection: Matthew Mullins | Inner Orbit

For the second entry in our new Curator’s Selection video series (check out the first one here), form & concept gallery director Frank Rose discussed an artwork by Matthew Mullins from the group exhibition Inner Orbit. Matt’s mixed-media painting The Sun Is In Our Bones is an anchor of the show, which explores personal and cultural visions of outer space, and it’s also an introduction to his next body of work. In late September, he’ll debut a solo exhibition called The Sun In Our Bones that will span our ground floor. Learn more about the painting in the video above, then click over to the exhibition page to discover how it connects with the themes of the forthcoming show.

Matthew Mullins- The Sun Is In Our Bones- Mixed-Media Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Here is Matt’s meditation on his painting The Sun Is In Our Bones:

The Sun Is In Our Bones is a meditation on the cosmic origins of the elements that comprise our bodies. The elements in our bodies such as carbon, calcium and iron were forged by the extreme forces that exist inside stars, supernovae and other cosmic events. It’s fascinating to think about the journey our bodies’ atomic ingredients have had, and that all of those individual atoms are now working together to form you and me. These elements that have existed for eons are engaged in a mysterious dance that allows us to maintain our complicated biological processes and even consciousness, empathy and love.

The black paint in this piece is made from burnt cow bones. The atoms of calcium and phosphorus from those bones, just like in our bones, were created in the stars. So, the material used in this painting was actually created in space and once provided life to other beings. The title The Sun In Our Bones is not only poetic, it can be taken somewhat literally. The bare linen that the stars seem to be growing into represents yet-to-be-created space. The handprints on the sides are traced from my hands and my wife’s hands, and represent the evolution of human consciousness from the elemental, raw ingredients created inside the stars.

Crystalline and Constellate are meditations on the subatomic world within our bodies. These paintings are nearly photo-realistic depictions of a matrix of atoms being lit up with a laser beam. The source photos that I painted from were taken with an electron microscope. I am awestruck by the intelligent orderliness, but also the mysterious fluidity, of the world experienced at this scale. Our own bodies look similar when viewed from a small enough vantage point.

Click here to browse the complete Inner Orbit exhibition on our website. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

Curator’s Selection: Eric William Carroll | Inner Orbit

Our director Frank Rose spent months on a national search for artists who explore personal or cultural visions of outer space in their work. The resulting exhibition, Inner Orbit, presents the cosmos not as a dark void, but as a densely layered cultural landscape. We asked Frank to discuss two of the artists who appear in the show for a new video series called Curator’s Selection. First up is St. Paul-based artist Eric William Carroll, who contributed several works from his Standard Stars series to Inner Orbit. Watch the video above for Frank’s take, and read Eric’s thoughts on the body of work below.

From Eric:

My project Standard Stars draws from three years of research at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), located an hour outside of Asheville, North Carolina in the small town of Rosman, and surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest.

One of PARI’s missions is to collect and digitize the largest archive of astronomical glass-plate photographs, known as the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive, commonly referred to as APDA. Currently, APDA is a collection of over 200,000 public-domain glass plate negatives that have been acquired from institutions and individuals all over the world. The visual wealth of APDA is unparalleled, as it documents the history of photographing the sky from the late 1800’s until the end of the 20th century on a now obsolete medium. There is an undeniable physical beauty to these photographic objects, which explains why I have made many trips over the years to immerse myself in the collection.

With just over 1% of the archive scanned, most of the photographic plates sit in boxes and on shelves, slowly deteriorating. The emulsion peels off of the glass plate in a variety of patterns, as if nature is trying to creep back into these scientific studies. In these images I have carefully composed the flakes of emulsion and photographed them on a light table and then inverted the image. In some cases, such as NA8302, the astronomer accidentally spilled oil on the plate. In NA8075, the exposed plate wasn’t processed in enough developer solution. These errors bridge the gap between galaxy and astronomer.

All in all, I have made high-resolution scans and photographs of over 500 plates from APDA. Visually and metaphorically, APDA represents the human attempt to study, represent, and organize the Universe. The fact that this collection is in danger of disintegrating and being forgotten is sadly and beautifully poetic.

Click here to browse the complete Inner Orbit exhibition on our website. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

Listen and be moved.

Nathan Wheeler- Peformance Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

form & concept has two events lined up for the weekend, and they’re not to be missed! Tonight is the closing reception for Debra Baxter’s solo exhibition Tooth & Nail (Friday, 6/15, 5-7 pm). On Saturday, we’re hosting Nathan Wheeler for an experimental music and performance piece among the artworks of Inner Orbit (Saturday, 6/16, 7-8:30 pm). Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter chose Nathan’s event as a calendar pick this week. Here’s an excerpt:

Ever heard of an EMF meter? They’re those gadgets that detect electromagnetic fields or, in some cases, psychic energy and possibly ghosts. Spooky, right? But don’t be scared; New York-based multi-disciplinary artist and dancer Nathan Wheeler plans to use them for a non-spooky event.

Nathan Wheeler- Peformance Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Paul Weideman covered the performance in this week’s Pasatiempo. Here’s an excerpt:

Wheeler embarks on a communal experience with living people and perhaps with some more ethereal collaborators. One of his chief tools in this process is an instrument that can sense electromagnetic fields (EMFs). “We’ll all be sitting in a space, but basically what I’m doing is using ghost-detection circuits [EMF meters] to read the different sort of invisible energies that are in the space,” said the artist, who is known for his improvisational music and dance performances. “These circuits do things like detect electromagnetic interference and static electricity, but they also are supposed to detect ghosts.”

Learn more about both events in this blog post. We’ll see you this weekend!

This Week: Three Events!

Emerging Media Alliance- Launch Party- Currents New Media Festival- Santa Fe New Mexico

Launch Party

Emerging Media Alliance

Thursday, June 14th, 7-10 pm

Currents New Media Festival
El Museo Cultural De Santa Fe
555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe Railyard

June is Emerging Media Month in Santa Fe, as declared by this rebellious crew of new media pioneers! We’re proud to be part of the Emerging Media Alliance, along with local legends such as Meow Wolf, Simply Social Media, Descartes Labs and SITE Santa Fe. This launch party for EMA offers an inside look at the Currents New Media Festival exhibition—and an opportunity to mingle with our new mayor, Alan Webber. This is a free, registration-only event. Sign up at the link below.

Register for this event.
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Image: Parallel Studios.

Debra Baxter- Tooth and Nail Exhibition- Closing Reception- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Closing Reception

Debra Baxter: Tooth & Nail

Friday, June 15th, 5-7 PM

Join Debra Baxter for a last look at her solo exhibition Tooth & Nail at this closing reception on Friday, June 15 from 5 to 7 pm. The show officially closes on June 16, 2018.

Baxter frequently picks up materials she’s never used before, searching for novel ways to engage the histories of sculpture, jewelry, weaponry or drapery. For Tooth & Nail, the events of the #MeToo movement have fed into her continued interest in the strength, vulnerability and the raw power of the female voice. The courage of these women has activated work with a blend of toughness and vulnerability. “These contrasting materials carry a similar spirit,” she explains. “My sculptures sometimes look delicate, but when they’re finished, they are structurally resilient.”

Learn more on our website.
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Image: Debra Baxter, Basta, alabaster, cedar, quartz crystal, 9 x 10 x 13 in.

Nathan Wheeler- Performance Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Performance

Nathan Wheeler

Saturday, June 16th, 7-8:30 PM

The gallery will ask for a $5-$25 donation at the door in support of the artist. 

Composer and multidisciplinary artist Nathan Wheeler ensnares form & concept in a web of “ghost detection circuits”—also known as EMF meters—for this improvisational music and dance performance. The psychic energy of Wheeler and his spectators will trigger the sensors and influence swirling visuals and soundscapes. Wheeler is a New York-based artist who works at the intersection of sound design, dance, clothing design, video, and interactive programming. He has shown work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Denver Art Museum, and at festivals around the globe.

Learn more on our website.
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Image: Nathan Wheeler.

THIS WEEK: Young Masters & Inner Orbit Artist Talk

Currents New Media Festival- Santa Fe Reporter- Santa Fe Railyard- New Mexico
CURRENTS New Media Festival

The Santa Fe Railyard is the place to be this weekend! The CURRENTS New Media Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with a massive exhibition at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Institute hosts the inaugural Interplanetary Festival at the Railyard Plaza and other venues. Both festivals have partnered with numerous organizations around Santa Fe to present exhibitions and events that bring together art, science and technology. Check out Iris McLister’s article in this week’s Santa Fe Reporter to get it all straight, and make sure to stop by form & concept for two events on Thursday & Saturday. More details below!

New Mexico School for the Arts- Young Masters Performance Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Performance

Young Masters | NMSA

Thursday, June 7th, 6 – 7:30 pm

New Mexico School for the Arts will soon break ground on renovations for their new Railyard location, and they’re wasting no time injecting fresh creative energy into the arts district. The arts high school presents a special performance series at form & concept, hosted by faculty members and showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets. Featured artists include Keenan McDonald, Myriah Duda, Adam Griffo, Acacia Burnham, Jada Baca and Lila Baca.

Learn more on our website.
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Image: NMSA

Inner Orbit Artist Talk- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

Artist Talk

Inner Orbit

Saturday, June 9th, 2 PM

Join Inner Orbit artists Matthew Mullins and Drew Lenihan for this interactive tour. They’ll engage with Frank Rose and Jordan Eddy of form & concept in a conversation about the show’s themes. Inner Orbit spotlights contemporary artists from across the United States who meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for deeply personal looks at the firmament. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

Learn more on our website.
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Image: Marcus Zuñiga, lines, mural, led string lights, marker.

Vote for us!

Best of Santa Fe 2018- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe Reporter

 

We’re in the final stretch of voting for Best of Santa Fe 2018! form & concept was nominated by Santa Fe Reporter‘s readers in the Best Gallery category. We were in the running last year, and won second place. This year we’re going for the gold! If you like what we’ve been up to, make sure to cast your vote before the contest closes at midnight on May 31. You can vote in one click below.

Click here to vote for form & concept.

Video Interview: Matthew Szösz

Matthew Szösz’s Minimal Tension exhibition might be over, but his glass sculptures are still on view across our ground floor. While the Seattle-based artist was in Santa Fe for his show, we interviewed him about his artistic process and career. He discussed his Inflatables and Ropework series, which figured prominently into the exhibition. Watch the video above to learn more about Szösz, and browse all of his available artwork in the form & concept collection.

Preview: Inner Orbit

Artist Matthew Mullins- Inner Orbit Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Matthew Mullins, The Sun In Our Bones, oil on linen, 48 x 48 in., 2018.

From a human perspective, the night sky is a densely layered cultural landscape. Long before they were subjects of scientific study, stars were laden with countless overlapping mythologies. Fortune tellers, sailors, writers, architects and artists have all projected profound meaning into the cosmos, tying earthly events to the movements of heavenly bodies.

form & concept is pleased to present Inner Orbit, a group exhibition of contemporary artists who carry forward this grand tradition. They meld fine art and craft mediums with technology to create personal or cultural visions of the firmament. Inner Orbit opens on Friday, May 25 from 5 to 7 pm, as part of form & concept’s Second Anniversary CelebrationSome of the artists will appear at a gallery talk on Saturday, June 9 from 2 to 3 pm.

Artist Marcus Zuniga- Inner Orbit Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Marcus Zúñiga, lines (detail), 2017, mural, led string lights, marker, dimensions vary.

Under the banner of Santa Fe Futurition, a number of local cultural institutions have banded together to present forward-thinking programming throughout the month of June. There’s the Currents New Media Festival (June 8-24) and Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival (June 7-8), both in the Santa Fe Railyard, along with exhibitions and events presented by Meow Wolf, Axle Contemporary and the Thoma Foundation’s Art House.

“The Railyard will anchor a complete solar system of tech and science-themed exhibitions and events next month,” says form & concept Gallery Director Frank Rose. “We’re kicking things off at the end of May with a show that presents outer space not as a dark void, but as a rich source of artistic inspiration.”

 

Artist Case Jernigan- Inner Orbit Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Case Jernigan, Aliens and Boats at Muni, paper, canvas, thread, LED lights, 21 x 25 in.

 

Inner Orbit stands out as the first entry in Futurition’s formidable lineup—and also as perhaps its most down-to-earth program. During the curatorial process, Rose sought out artists who view outer space as an enormous cultural mirror.

Painter Katie Dorame recasts space aliens as European colonizers descending upon the Americas. New media artist Andrew Yang presents a two-channel video titled Interviews with the Milky Way, which weaves together cosmic imagery with sound bites from conversations about the stars. In a series of densely detailed graphite drawings, Nina Elder examines the history of meteorites stolen from Indigenous lands by the United States government. Artist duo Hillerbrand + Magsamen contribute portraits of their family in spacesuits, à la Lost in Space.

“These artists work with their hands as much as they’re using computers,” says Rose. “They’re blending technology with other, more analog artistic mediums to tell powerful stories.” 

Learn more on our website.
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Artist Eric William Carroll- Inner Orbit Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Eric William Carroll, NA7997, 1/23/99 (from the series “Standard Stars”), photopolymer gravure, 14 x 11 in., AP 1/5, 2017.

Preview: Erika Lynne Hanson

Erika Lynne Hanson- Textile and New Media Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Erika Lynne Hanson, Movement Choir: Green River, site specific installation, 2017.

The White Sands Missile Range is a world-famous site of military bomb testing, but its recent history is tied to an isolated village 600 miles to the north. For ten years during the Cold War, Green River, Utah was the launch site for test missiles that detonated in White Sands. That’s the reason Arizona artist Erika Lynne Hanson landed there for a month-long research project in 2017.

Hanson’s time in Green River marked the start of a major body of work regarding the scraps from the missile tests. In a new series of weavings and video artworks, Hanson uses a little-known language to inspire nuanced perspectives on these sites. Her artworks pose open questions about the nature of humanity and our relationship to nature. Movement Choir: Landscape Scores opens at form & concept on Friday, May 25 from 5 to 7 pm, and runs through June 23, 2018. Hanson will conduct an artist talk on Saturday, May 26 from 2 to 3 pm.

“Green River was the stage for a fascinating chapter in American history,” says Hanson. “We were quite literally bombing ourselves for a ten-year span.” During her stay in Green River, Hanson became fascinated with the considerable marks—both psychological and physical—that the project left on the community and its surroundings. “These parts of the missile would fall off and land in the landscape, leaving behind scars,” she says. Hanson researched the sites of this accidental jestam. She returned to her loom with a challenge: how to explore the significance of these unintentional land artworks through fiber?

Erika Lynne Hanson- Textile and New Media Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Erika Lynne Hanson, Landscape: 3, woven and dyed wool, 31 x 55 in., 2018.

Hanson is accustomed to tackling creative projects that span many miles and artistic mediums. She’s an Assistant Professor of Fibers and Socially Engaged Practice at Arizona State University, and also maintains a multidisciplinary artistic practice that has taken her from Alaska to Iceland. Broadly, her artworks propose potential connections between material, history and place. Recently that has manifested in a series of imagined dialogues between humans and different elements of the landscape. Before her Green River excursion, Hanson completed a project in White Sands, New Mexico where she planted gypsum-colored flags as tributes to the land.

“The idea is to say, ‘I will weave a flag in your honor, and then we will have a conversation,’” Hanson explains. “It’s a funny proposition to think that a human can broker a dialogue between, say, a gypsum crystal and the White Sands dunes. It never totally works, so it becomes an absurdist proposition. I’m in this landscape, I don’t fully understand it, but I’m going to try.” Flags appear in Hanson’s body of work for Movement Choir: Landscape Scores as well, though they’re more than just offerings.

Erika Lynne Hanson- Textile and New Media Artist- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Erika Lynne Hanson, a layered score: 1, woven and dyed wool, 20 x 20 in., 2018.

To incorporate the story of the missile fragments into the work, the artist turned her banners into semaphores of sorts. She used the Labanotation system, invented by 20th century choreographer Rudolf Laban for dance performance scores, to indicate how the viewer might move their body through each site. Video artworks of Hanson planting the flags will also appear in the show. “By suggesting how the body might move through these spaces, I’m proposing potential connections amongst material, history, and place,” the artist says.

After all, Hanson points out, the places that were in the paths of the missiles were hardly empty. “They picked Green River to deploy these missiles because they said it went over the least amount of inhabited lands to reach White Sands,” she says. “It goes over all of this National Park and BLM land, so it’s not really uninhabited, it’s just uninhabited by people.” If the landscape could speak, Hanson wonders if it would complain about these rusty thorns in its side. “Is it a trauma when the landscape is hit with a missile?” she asks. “What does a rock care, or does it care? Maybe I’m just reflecting my mortality into this, which is a very short span in the face of geologic time.”

Learn more on about this exhibition.
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THIS FRIDAY: Inner Orbit & Erika Lynne Hanson

Two exhibitions debut at form & concept on Friday, as part of our Second Anniversary Celebration! Learn more about them below, and make sure to RSVP for the party on Facebook.

Hillerbrand + Magsamen- Higher Ground Photograph- Inner Orbit Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Exhibition

Inner Orbit

Opening Reception: Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, June 9, 2-3 pm

From a human perspective, the night sky is a densely layered cultural landscape. Long before they were subjects of scientific study, stars were laden with countless overlapping mythologies. Fortune tellers, sailors, writers, architects and artists have all projected profound meaning into the cosmos—tying earthly events to the movements of heavenly bodies. Inner Orbit spotlights contemporary artists with personal or cultural visions of outer space. Many of the featured artists meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for a fresh look at the firmament.

Learn more on our website.
RSVP on Facebook.

Above: Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Higher Ground- Family, archival inkjet print, 2015.

Erika Lynne Hanson- Movement Choir- Site Specific Installation- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Exhibition

Erika Lynne Hanson

Movement Choir: Landscape Scores

Opening Reception: Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, May 26, 2-3 pm

Arizona artist Erika Lynne Hanson weaves a hidden history of the Southwest into her solo exhibition Movement Choir: Landscape Scores. Using a coded language in her fiber and new media artworks, Hanson charts the paths of Cold War missile tests from Green River, Utah to White Sands, New Mexico. The rusty remnants, scattered over more than 600 miles of desert, represent open questions about the nature of humanity and our relationship to nature.

Learn more on our website.
RSVP on Facebook.

Above: Erika Lynne Hanson, Movement Choir: Green River, site specific installation, 2017.