Soft Chaos: David Bowen
Saturday, November 13th, 6-9pm
November 13 - December 31, 2010
David Bowen creates complex sculptural installations that utilize technology to integrate mechanical systems with the natural world; all of his work eloquently incorporates the influence of nature over machines and in turn machines over nature. His art reflects his life long fascination with dissecting systems and laying bare the beauty of how a machine’s function dictates its shape, movements and composition. Bowen’s new installation intertwines the organic with the machine to create a new hybrid environment exploring how technology can amplify our experience of the physical world.
soft chaos consists of helium filled vinyl blimps, whose movements are determined by swarms of houseflies. The flies are essentially the brain of the helium filled airships with the aide of on board sensors and microcontrollers. At times of low activity or if the collective’s population has decreased the airships will merely float in the space, while a larger or more active collective would propel the blimp at faster speeds. A soft chaos begins to emerge as the fly powered blimps begin to navigate, at times colliding with physical elements of the space including the audience. Bowen is creating an ever-changing mechanical ballet dependent on the whims of one of our most populous insects.
David Bowen is a prolific studio artist and Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He received his BFA from Herron School of Art in Indianapolis in 1999 and his MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2004. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including Artbots: the robot talent show at the Eyebeam Atelier in New York, NY and a group exhibition at Pasadena Museum of California Art curated by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has attended numerous residency programs including Sculpture Space, the Hungarian Multicultural Center in Balatonfured, Hungary and The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. He also received a Joan Mitchell fellowship to attend Vermont Studio Center in 2007. Bowen was awarded both grand prize in the art division of the Japan Media Arts Festival and 3rd prize in the VIDA 12.0 Art and Artificial Life Competition this year. Also this year he had a solo exhibition in Laboratoria Art & Science Space, Moscow, Russia as well as several past and upcoming group exhibitions in Japan, Spain, Belguim, Scotland and state side in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Soft Chaos will be Bowen’s first solo exhibition in the Twin Cities.