Exhibition at Carnegie Mellon gives geography a new meaning
"Mappa Mundi," a digital print by New York artist Lize Mogel, is part of a series exploring public space and cultural geography.
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"Experimental Geography" is both the title of a mind-expanding exhibition and a term coined by contemporary artist/geographer/activist Trevor Paglen, who will speak tomorrow at Carnegie Mellon University.
If a geographer informs us about the land that we move within, or study from afar, an experimental geographer considers that land from the creative vantage point of an artist.
"In a manner that deploys aesthetics, ambiguity, poetry and a dash of empiricism," the exhibition text explains.
Mr. Paglen is among a stellar international gathering of artists and art collaboratives in this smart and relevant traveling exhibition in the Miller Gallery. It was organized by Nato Thompson, Creative Time curator, formerly of MASS MoCA.
Others include Francis Alys (Carnegie International 2004-05), whose video "The Making of Lima" documents the movement, with the help of 500 volunteers, of a sand dune outside Lima, Peru, 4 inches from its original position. The project, which speaks to the achievements possible through cooperation, resulted in the art video "When Faith Moves Mountains."
Yin Xiuzhen exhibits "Portable Cities: Singapore," one of a series of models of cities constructed in suitcases using clothing discarded by that city's residents.
Mr. Paglen, who has a particular interest in covert military sites and whose most recent book is "Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World," has three works in the show that rise from his investigations.
He will speak about these and more in a lecture beginning at 5 p.m. tomorrow in McConomy Auditorium in CMU's University Center, kicking off the "Contestational Cartographies Symposium." All events are open to the public and free unless noted.
From 8-10 p.m. tomorrow at Brillobox Upstairs, 4104 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville, "Information Mapping: Dorkbot," a "geek salon" with Chris Harrison, CMU Ph.D. student, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and Susanne Slavick, artist and CMU art faculty.
A tour at noon Friday will precede the 1-2 p.m. closing reception for the exhibition at the Miller.
At 5 p.m. exhibiting artist Lize Mogel lectures on "The World as a Map" at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry in CMU's College of Fine Arts, followed at 6 p.m. by "Squatting the High Ground," a panel discussion with Ms. Mogel, Mr. Paglen, Pablo Garcia, founder and principal of Pablo Garcia/POINT design studio and CMU architecture faculty; and Rich Pell, founding member of the art, engineering and tactical media collective Institute for Applied Autonomy and CMU art faculty.
Saturday two workshops are offered which require pre-registration at firstname.lastname@example.org. From noon to 2 p.m. "Make a Homemade Video Microscope from a Hacked Webcam" with Mr. Pell, in connection with the UCLA BioOutlaws Conference, at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. $20 admission includes a webcam.
From 3 to 5 p.m and for ages 14 and up, "Basic Geographic Information Systems for Artists, activists and Naturalists," in Baker-Porter Hall #140F, CMU. Displaying vital information about the natural world. Admission: $15.
The exhibition continues through Jan. 31 at the Miller in the Purnell Center for the Arts. Admission is free. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For information, call 412-268-3618 or visit www.cmu.edu/millergallery.
In conjunction with the exhibition "LIKENESS," a gallery talk, "Media, Celebrity Culture and Warhol" will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Mattress Factory museum, 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side.
Discussing their topic in the context of contemperory portraiture will be Amy Henderson, cultural historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., and Eric Shiner, Milton Fine curator of art at the Andy Warhol Musum.
Admission is $10, members free. A complimentary guided tour of "LIKENESS" will be offered at 6 p.m.
For information, call 412-231-3169 or visit www.mattress.org.
The exhibition "Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity" will have an opening reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Saint Vincent Gallery in the Robert S. Carey Student Center, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe (free and public).
The exhibition was curated by Ben Schachter, college associate professor of fine arts, who will conduct a gallery tour of the exhibition at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9. Mr. Schachter's solo exhibition, "Ben Schachter: Kosher/Treif and Eruvim," is currently at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
Artists exhibiting include Maya Escobar, Melanie Dankowicz, Carol Es, Leslie Golumb, Louise Silk and Shirah Apple.
A course that is the first step in applying to the Carnegie Museum of Art docent training program and is also open to the public will run from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 10 and continue for 15 sessions. Lectures will cover art history, from the ancient world to the present, with an emphasis on the museum's collection. Register at 412-622-3288; $180, $162 members.
First Published January 27, 2010 12:00 am