Thursday’s cabaret in the I.D.E.A. Space celebrated the opening of this fall’s installation
“Systems & Subversions,” a showcase of six different artists. In case you missed the event, Associate Professor of Art and featured artist Scott Johnson spoke with Jonathan Lee, Professor of Philosophy, on systems of perception as the relationship between consciousness and systems found in nature. Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Sciences Matthew Whitehead and Steven Janke, Professor of Mathematics, discussed artificial natures. But you haven’t missed the chance to see what these speakers were referring to; go check out the newest art installations in I.D.E.A. Space, open through Nov. 5 in Cornerstone Art’s Center.

Artists Graham Wakefield and Haru Ji’s interactive digital ecosystem, “Artificial Nature: Archipelago” incorporates radiant, digitally projected colors, three tons of sand, and some fragrant hints of baby oil to create a memorable, full sensory experience. The artists invite you to take off your shoes, step into the artwork and wave your hands over the different islands. Although it’s an aesthetically attractive piece, your own shadow will result in a crushing response. Wakefield and Ji test our human response to destruction and force us to take a vital role in the act.

The piece by one of CC’s very own professors, Scott Johnson, consists of three large-scale pigment prints that capture remnants of the Big Four Coal Mine. Active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the coalmine had long been a point of contention between wealthy mine owners and the oppressed laborers. After strikes arose, the National Guard Troops burned the campsite of the disgruntled miners. “The scars on the landscape bear witness to the ongoing process of resource extraction, consumption, and waste production that feeds industrial culture,” reads the exhibition literature on Johnson’s piece. The artist also records a variable breeze flipping the pages of an open book.

Another piece of “Systems & Subversions is Jon Cohrs project “Alviso’s Medicinal ALL-SALT.” By taking a closer look at the salty substance, you will be shocked by  its production. The 2000 Colorado College alumnus and creator of “Alviso’s Medicinal ALL-SALT” makes a critical statement on society’s drug intake by distilling waste water from a region in California to display the sheer amounts of pharmaceutical waste within.

Artist Nurit Bar-Shai’s experiment showcases bacteria affected by the sound waves of Colorado College music professors Daryll Stevens, Jerilyn Jorgensen, Jeffrey Watson, Susan Grace, and Ofer Ben-Amots. In this exhibit, the bacteria will actually grow over the block. And if you need to cool your head and step out of your everyday routine, come watch Marina Zurkow’s videos of calming landscapes, slowly evolving.

For a complete listing of happenings at the I.D.E.A. Space, be sure to check out the Events Schedule and pick up the semester calendar. Free food is usually served, so bring your friends and explore new topics and the delectable visual world!

Grace Cahagan

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