LIGHT YEAR 19: “Advances and Retreats”

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Dusk - 10pm

 The Triangle at Pearl Street and Anchorage Place


Curated by John Ensor Parker and Sarah Walko

Artists: Jaanika Peerna, Monika Bravo, Heather M. O'Brien, Hamra Abbas, Andrew Thomas Huang


“Advances and Retreats”

Advances and Retreats is a one night, public art video exhibition on the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage that focuses on works that ask the viewer to bear witness. In these either obvious or subtle experiences, the collision of our external and our internal worlds meet. The works have us look straight at visual experiences, whether it’s the slow movement of algae on water, or the intense destruction of a bridge, with the awareness of how both connected and disconnected our individual perception is to external factors. Artist Monika Bravo states “I wanted to create a visual notation of what it feels like when I listen to specific pieces of music” and this is what all of these artists are doing – creating works about what it feels like to live in a surveillance society or how it feels when trying to hold onto something concrete when we are in a time when nothing is static. The works focus on this ebb and flow between tension and release, structure and disintegration, alienation and connection. And it is this awareness of our feelings between these varying states that pull out a deeply shared human experience. 





Jaanika Peerna: KokkuLahti / OpenClose, 2004

Movement of algae on water's surface. Simple act of opening and closing - a whole in the center of the screen is getting bigger to reveal a reflection of the surrounding sky and trees and then closing to be opened soon again. Act of breathing. Expanding and contracting. Organic nearing digital: pieces of algae resembling digital bits, organic sound stretches into electric noise.


Monika Bravo: Musical Notations, (2015) 

Monika Bravo’s Musical notations are studies that start from a drawing made with graph paper and pencil. They are then scanned and re-drawn line by line in the computer. She creates a visual notation of what it feels when listening to specific pieces of music.



Heather M. O’Brien: Sand grains swell, watching her fall, 2016

Super 8MM film, color, sound, 4 minutes

The Sixth Street Viaduct in Los Angeles, California is a controversial water and civil engineering project of political turmoil and injustice. The deconstruction and reconstruction of this bridge is part of an ongoing revitalization project of the LA River­­––a citywide effort to force atrocious displacement and real estate speculation.

Hamra Abbas: TextEdit (2011) 

Text Edit highlights the climate of fear and surveillance by making edits to an email as it is being written, where the author is sharing her experience of being pregnant. The work attempts to capture the absurdity around this discourse of fear that carries the potential to interpret almost anything as act of suspicion.



Andrew Thomas Huang, Hyperskins (2016) 

"Hyperskins”  is a diptych of virtual sculptures made from digital scans of animal skulls manipulated and cycled in an infinite loop featuring multiple surfaces and textural incarnations.  Inspired by the concept of "hyper objects" by Timothy Morton , these virtual objects investigate Morton's idea that today's objects lack a "discreteness" and instead are pervasive, multidimensional and ever-changing throughout phases of time, space and relative orientation to other objects independent of human consciousness.  Although Morton's description refers to the pervasiveness of physical objects within an ecological context, "Hyperskins" asks whether or not computer-generated sculptures better exemplify this idea of hyperobjects by their iterative fluidity and nonlocal, interdimensional ability to take on infinite configurations across time+space.  If the hyperobjects described by Morton will long outlive our species in the Age of the Anthropocene, will our digital remains outlive us too?