ART / MUSEUMS, GALLERIES
April 15, 1998
'Sub-Techs' Through May 2, the Lab
It's sometimes difficult to see the human
hand in the seamless animated visual worlds rendered on a computer system.
But in this show of what curator and conceptual artist Charles Gute calls
"the new postdigital sculpture" we see concrete evidence of human intervention
in the realm of 0s and 1s. The six artists apply a Martha Stewart approach
to electronic issues, and in some curious way, the results are almost homey.
Stephen Hendee, for example, makes an angular, lit-fromwithin sci-fi wall
structure using cardboard and black masking tape. while Rachel Stevens
replicates and enlarges details of digitized snapshots using cuhes of sugar,
some stained with coffee to provide the contrast. Using motors from vacuum
cleaners, Bill Feeney takes on the inflated nature of kinetic art- and
when you turn them on, the sound is quickly reminiscent of housecleaning.
A series of colorful objects that look like Ikea office furniture is actually
the product of Toshi Onuki's computer-generated explorations of the Olympic
rings - and his international commentary is held together with hardware
store clamps. There are even digital denizens of this high/low universe,
in the form of Erin Thurlow's My Generation, a group of ghostly life-size
youths made out of pasted-together inkjet prints. The most intriguing piece
here, however, is by Austrian artist Gebhard Sengmüller, who has made a
hilarious infomercial for his self-invented vinyl video system, which transfers
moving images into the grooves of an LP. It's a work of electronic ingenuity
that locates technological advancement in the warm, musty corners of a
thrift store. Wed-Sat, noon-5 pm, 2948 16th St, S.F: (415) 864-8855.