Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Laura Vitale

This months cover.
Photo by K.K.W
"White Sands": Art merging with science. Articles & photos by K.K.W

The ability for many creative or artistic individuals to delve into scientific investigation is possible due to the radical changes that came about during the later half of the 19th century. That era saw "revolutions" (political, social, artistic, etc) and the rise of an industrialized world where science and technology would change lives an influence most, if not all things. 
Laura Vitale @ 'Recess' art-space,
her current studio/lab.
Modernism and the 20th - 21st century, the result of the turmoil of the former, whose zeitgeist in a way is - self consciousness- leads to experiments with form and work that draws attention to the process and materials used. This can be considered a creative wave that becomes more powerful as technology increases and effects most aspects of our daily lives, eventually merging at an alarming rate with art. "White Sands" is a prime example of this; sound, visuals, textures, interaction, research, coupled with a near child-like genius quality you would find in a Wes Anderson movie. 

A view from within the storefront recording booth
facing Grand street. 
Vitale created a research laboratory at the 'Recess' art-space for testing the audio-visual properties and the physical properties of gypsum plaster. The artist also includes collaborators and interested visitors who show curiosity in her project. "The artist will develop parallel inquiries that intersect - conceptually, and spatially - sometimes to the point of being indistinguishable." (1) 

Before she started all this at 'Recess', Vitale traveled to New Mexico's White sands national monument, which sits on the worlds largest table of gypsum crystals. When the plaster is submerged in water, it creates resonant tones and rhythms that Vitale amplifies and modify with the use of an underwater microphone. She installed a storefront recording booth to capture a confluence of human and plaster voices. Its really interesting to be inside of it with the blue tint, noticing people on the street pass by. 

visual artists merging audio-video and or photography with science, becoming immersed in creative scientific experimentation is certainly not new, but has become a strong feature within the visual art and music world. Check-out the open studios at the Clocktower Gallery (108 Leonard street, off Broadway). Vitale's exhibition makes me think that her and other artists are studying the viewers, as much as the result of their project, and the reaction or lack of to it. Often enough this kind of project is the work of an obsessive personality that can find beauty, meaning and joy in the common-place, the simple. 

They tend to turn from the traditional to things that produce abstract results that are very subjective. However, one has to ask, is this art or even science? And if its neither, then what is it? Are these people, simply and firmly put, "fucking with us"? Gypsum/plaster/"plaster of Paris" has been used for what we now call "art" as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece, Phoenicia, Rome, etc. But what draws Vitale to this? Why has it consumed her so? What odd functions move within her mind, and no doubt keeps her from sleep when she is unable to let go of her creative thoughts about it? To look at her eyes is to wonder what lay behind them, driving her through this world. This I think, is the other half of the coin that is her and this project.       

The Closing reception for "White Sands" will be on Sept 13th 2012, and it will be on view until Sept 15th. Recess art-space is open from Tues-Sat 12pm-6pm, Thurs 2pm-8pm. (1) Taken from the info page for the project. If you would like to know more, go to:,"Art is the reason, art is the way."

1 comment:

Humaun Kabir said...

I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!
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