Happy July! We’re excited to share this lovely review of our Inner Orbit exhibition by Chelsea Weathers in The Magazine. The show explores cultural or personal visions of space, so Chelsea started her review with a childhood memory:
For most people who aren’t astronomers or astrophysicists, outer space is a nebulous concept (no pun intended). How we relate to ideas like space-time, the Big Bang, and black holes often has more to do with our immediate material surroundings than with equations and formulas. My own experience of watching Halley’s Comet involves a strong memory of the vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream cone my father bought for me when we waited to catch a glimpse of it—a moment that I don’t remember at all. On one hand, my childhood mind grasping at quotidian details reflects an inability to comprehend the enormity of outer space. Then again, everyday human life is inextricably connected to our conceptions of the universe in ways that aren’t always grandiose. I understand the rarity of Halley’s Comet because I remember that ice cream cone.
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.
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.
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.
Wheeler isn’t a ghost hunter, though he’s on the trail of something just as ephemeral in his innovative performance artworks. “My work often taps into the supernatural as a source of inspiration and healing,” says the New York-based artist. “What sort of energies do we project, and how can I use technology to make them perceptible?” He tackles that question in a new improvisational performance piece at form & concept, which utilizes EMF detectors and other technology to influence audiovisual aspects of the work. “We’re constantly casting psychic energy into the world. My audience at form & concept will be able to see it and hear it,” Wheeler explains.
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. Inner Orbit opens on Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm.
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!
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.
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.
form & concept presents Inner Orbit, an exhibition of contemporary artists from across the United States with deeply personal or cultural visions of outer space. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival. Inner Orbit opens on Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm, and a number of the participating artists will appear at a gallery talk on 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 who meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for a fresh look at the firmament.
Katie Dorame, Nina Elder, Stephan Hillerbrand, Case Jernigan, Drew Lenihan, Mary Magsamen, Matthew Mullins, Eric William Carroll, Andrew Yang, Marcus Zúñiga
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 Celebration. Some of the artists will appear at a gallery talk on Saturday, June 9 from 2 to 3 pm.
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.”
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.”
For one wild evening in October, the InterPlanetary Project will ride David Bowie’s star-dusted coattails to the outer reaches of the imagination. The InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party lands at form & concept on Sunday, October 15 from 5-7 pm, on the weekend of InterPlanetary’s fall event series. Hosted by Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute, the party is a free, RSVP-only event with a cash bar by Santa Fe Spirits and interstellar hors d’oeuvres by form & concept. Guests who wear David Bowie-themed costumes will be entered into a raffle for fun prizes.
Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute join forces tonight to host the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party at form & concept. Stop by the gallery from 5-7 pm for cosmic cocktails by Santa Fe Spirits, space-themed snacks, screenings of David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth and much more. We’re challenging Santa Fe to help us unofficially set the Guinness World Record for biggest David Bowie costume party, so come dressed as any version of Bowie for a chance to win fun raffle prizes.
The celebration is part of a larger event series organized by SFI’s InterPlanetary Project and featuring a constellation of local arts organizations. Patricia Lenihan of Santa Fe New Mexican covers the Oct. 13-17 happenings:
Although Earthlings can’t visit Mars quite yet, the Santa Fe Institute’s October InterPlanetary series may convince many to update their passports to infinity and beyond. Events are directed at those who would engage today’s problems by imagining tomorrow’s challenges, according to SFI.
The series, which runs from Friday, Oct. 13, to Tuesday, Oct. 17, is offered in anticipation of a June 2018 InterPlanetary Festival in the Railyard that will showcase innovation and technology and, it is hoped, attract space enthusiasts from around the world. Participants at that time will experience concerts, discussions around InterPlanetary topics, art installations, gaming, sci-fi film showcases, cosplay, food, drink, and more.
But for now, SFI collaborates with community partners to stage events that include a film festival, an invitation to the refurbished SITE Santa Fe’s Future Shock exhibit, and presentations at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.
Read the full article here, and make sure to RSVP for our InterPlanetary party!
Madrid, New Mexico might be known for its appearance in the film Easy Rider, but a much weirder chapter of cinematic history unfolded there in the mid-1970’s. Early in David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, the singer descends a hill that’s just south of the historic coal mining village. In fact, the majority of the movie was filmed on location in New Mexico. Four decades later, the Santa Fe Institute has launched an initiative with the opposite trajectory. The InterPlanetary Project challenges scientists, artists, writers and the public to imagine what it would take to explore and populate worlds outside of our solar system.
Santa Fe Institute partnered with Creative Santa Fe to launch the project in July. They join forces again this Sunday to host the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party. For one wild evening, the InterPlanetary Project rides David Bowie’s star-dusted coattails at this weird and wonderful soiree. The free, RSVP-only event features a cash bar by Santa Fe Spirits and interstellar hors d’oeuvres by form & concept. Guests who wear David Bowie-themed costumes will be entered into a raffle for fun prizes. The party lands at form & concept on Sunday, October 15 from 5-7 pm, on the weekend of InterPlanetary’s fall event series.
The Interplanetary Project debuted in July 2017, with a panel discussion between science fiction authors, scientists, explorers, and artists at the Lensic Theater in downtown Santa Fe. It continues this fall with a city-wide event series running October 13-17 and featuring screenings of science fiction films at the Jean Cocteau and Violet Crown Cinemas, a performance by Jeffrey Ernstoff and a panel discussion led by Santa Fe Institute External Professor Manfred Laubichler.
There was one key ingredient missing from the weekend of InterPlanetary events. Who better to join us on an interstellar journey than David Bowie? Looks from any era of Bowie’s colorful and daringly varied fashion legacy are welcome at the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Party. Spacesuit up, Santa Fe!