Sep 22, 2018

Art & Data: The Odd Couple

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian                                                                                                                                           A student admires the two-channel projection work of artists Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy in the Conley Art Gallery that displays architectural fragments.

The Center for Creativity and the Arts partnered with the Department of Art and Design for the fourth annual artist invitational exhibition.

The 2014 Artist Invitational began Jan. 21 and will last until mid-February.

Different artists produced various works to express this year’s theme, “Data & Technology,” through print, installations, video and more.

The exhibition can be seen at the Conley Art Gallery on campus.

These artists include husband and wife duo, Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy, Scott Groeniger, Jason Salavon and Danielle Tegader. Dietrick, Groeniger, and Salavon delivered lectures before the gallery show about their past works and discussed their current projects that interact or were produced from actual data and technology.

One of Salavon’s pieces was “Rainbow Aggravator,” a display monitor that showed real time talk from Twitter and Google’s trending topics while simultaneously generating a rainbow representation of the data it generates from those sources. Salavon said that a trend on Twitter is not the same as Google, because a trend can easily be displaced on Twitter every 30 seconds.

Cecilie Carnes, a senior majoring in Art, said that the artists’ pieces show a creative way to understand data from real life.

“I feel like it’s eye-opening to the public to show all these results and data and showing it in a beautiful way, by taking real data and making it full of color,” Carnes said.

Salavon said students are intuitively aware of the gathering of data and representation of it, but art students specifically have not been commonly taught yet how to use specific technology or data gathering to produce art.

“It’s only a small step for art students to start thinking about ‘How might I represent to the masses information?’ and it seems really obvious it’s [teaching] coming soon,” Salavon said.

While Salavon uses his own software to generate or regurgitate data to make his art and designs, Dietrick and Mundy gathered data from heavy-traffic public spaces. To produce a two-channel projection of these architectural images, the two scrapped data from foreclosed house listings and other similar resources. The images then became architectural fragments of those houses found and used.

Senior Daniel Mejia, who specializes in printmaking, said the themes expressed from the art are easy to comprehend.

“The architecture used in the projected images and the subject matter of the prints is obviously expressing the theme of data and technological use,” Mejia said.

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