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Warehouse Gallery presents 'Automatic Speleology' audiovisual exhibition

March 10, 2010

Anja Chavez
(315) 443-6410

The Warehouse Gallery is now featuring the exhibition ”Jesse Stiles: Automatic Speleology.” A public reception will be held at the gallery March 25 from 5–8 p.m., followed by a dance party from 8–10 p.m. with a DJ. The exhibition is intended for audiences of all ages. All events are free and open to the public.

On March 18 (Th3) at 6 p.m., The Warehouse Gallery will host a lecture by Stiles. The artist will talk about his new site-specific work for the main gallery and the Window Projects.

On May 29 at 7 p.m., The Warehouse Gallery will present a closing event. A live performance by Stiles and Curtis Bahn will combine Classical Hindustani, electronic music and interactive video projections.

In his first solo exhibition, DeRuyter-based Stiles has created a three-part audiovisual work consisting of multi-channel video projections, LED lights, spotlights, glass resonators, robotic drumming and electronic sound. These elements are synchronized and orchestrated through a network of computers running software developed by the artist. As the title suggests, “Automatic Speleology” explores the depths of visual and aural space.

The exhibition is divided into the main gallery, the vault and the Window Projects that can be viewed as one single work or variations on a theme: visual music. In the main gallery, each of the three projections is matched to its own voice or speaker. In the vault, the images from the main gallery are repeated and mixed with new images, yet the angle of projection has changed, the speed with which the images appear and disappear is dramatically reduced, the music becomes softer, and LED lights mirror the changes in the music. For The Window Projects, Stiles mounted robotic drums onto the windows that are illuminated by spotlights of varied color.

“Automatic Speleology” is the result of a close collaboration between human (programming of the software) and technology (the computer “running” the software). The show does not simply run on its own like a prerecorded video or sound installation. Rather, it creates itself, without repetition, presenting constantly changing sequences of images as long as the software and technical equipment continue to function. The audiovisual work is happening and being created in real-time as the viewer perceives it–a live performance, as it were, yet without a performer and where the computer has replaced the conductor.

A gallery guide accompanies the exhibition with an essay, “Automatic Performance,” by Anja Chávez, curator of contemporary art at The Warehouse Gallery and SUArt Galleries at Syracuse University. The catalog will be available at the gallery and online beginning March 25.

Stiles holds a B.A. in cognitive science from Vassar College (with a thesis on music perception) and an M.F.A. in integrated electronic arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he studied under Pauline Oliveros and Curtis Bahn. Widely exhibited, Stiles has also performed at Lincoln Center and Eyebeam. He has worked as a sound designer, composer, remixer and music software designer for numerous films, museums, recognized artists and new media companies. He is currently teaching at RPI.

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