'SEE-ING' in Charlotte

 John Hill
26. October 2018
Photo: Toby Shearer (All photographs courtesy of SoA at UNC Charlotte)
SEE-ING: The Environmental Consciousness Project is on display at the School of Architecture at University of North Carolina at Charlotte until November 16th. Curated by UNC assistant professor Catty Dan Zhang, the exhibition examines how vision, molded by technology, inspires creative practices.
Sitting in the diminutive Storrs Gallery in the School of Architecture's Storrs Building, SEE-ING​ consists of ten contributions that occupy the space's walls, floor and ceiling. The exhibition asks "What perceives?" and "What's perceived?" and does so by a visual presentation that also provokes visitors' senses beyond sight — from the 1-1/2" thick black rubber mulch under foot (the material hides the cables for the monitors spread across the floor) to the suspended umbrellas that emit the occasional puff of smoke. It's an atypical presentation for an exhibition that, "for a moment, questions and celebrates both the possible presence of technological facts and the profound joy of experiencing the effects."

The ten contributions to SEE-ING:
  • Between Round and Square by artist CHAI MI;
  • Between the Retina and the Dome by Penelope Haralambidou, The Bartlett School of Architecture;
  • Embodied Computation Lab by The Living (David Benjamin)
  • EOS Series by Sean Lally, University of Illinois at Chicago;
  • Hacking Representational Structures, Seeing the Scaffolds by Carl Lostritto, Rhode Island School of Design;
  • — HORIZONS — by Certain Measures (Andrew Witt and Tobias Nolte);
  • Inhabiting Ruins by Bernadette Devilat, co-founder of Devilat Lanuza Architects;
  • The Objects Pallas and Gottfried by Ibañez Kim (Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim); 
  • PULSUS by INVIVIA (Allen Sayegh);
  • VENTS by Catty Dan Zhang, UNC Charlotte.​
The dark floor in the otherwise white gallery space is balanced by Zhang's own "VENTS" installation across the ceiling. (Photo: Toby Shearer)
"VENTS" consists of a grid of umbrellas that produce a "rain" of air puffs based on recorded data sets from Hurricane Florence, which hit the Carolinas in September 2018. (Photo: Milad Rogha)
"SEE-ING" is mounted in Storrs Gallery, a quarter-circle space in the School of Architecture's Storrs Building, designed by Charles Gwathmey and completed in 1990.
Some of the contributions are displayed as round images coupled with video screens spread across the floor of black rubber mulch. (Photo: Toby Shearer)
Inspired by Ed Ruscha's "Every Building on the Sunset Strip," Certain Measures' "— HORIZONS —" uses custom AI software to generate an endless street view of a fantasy city.
CHAI MI's "Between Round and Square" covers the gallery's curved walls. It is a grid of 312 square paintings that the artist produced over the last three years as experiments in mixing water and ink on paper.

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