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March 2011

Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston Offers Works by David Bowen

Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, is proud to present the exhibit, drift, featuring new works by visiting artist David Bowen, on view from Mar. 10 through Apr. 16, 2011. A lecture given by the artist will be held on Mar. 10 at 5:30pm followed by an opening reception from 6-9pm.

Bowen is internationally acclaimed for his kinetic sculptures and has exhibited his work extensively. He completed his MFA at the University of Minnesota in 2004 and currently lives and works in Duluth, MN. The artist is influenced by the work of Jean Tinguely and Cy Twombly, as well as more contemporary figures, Edwardo Kac and Stelarc.

Bowen’s work is concerned with aesthetics that result from interactive, reactive and generative processes as they relate to intersections between natural and mechanical systems. He produces devices and situations that are set in motion to create drawings, movements, compositions, sounds and objects based on their perception of and interaction with the space and time they occupy. The devices Bowen constructs often play both the roles of observer and creator, providing limited and mechanical perspectives of dynamic situations and living objects. The work is a result of a combination of a particular event and the residue left after the event. In some ways the devices are attempting, often futilely, to simulate or mimic a natural form, system or function. When the mechanisms fail to replicate the natural system the result is a completely unique outcome. It is these unpredictable occurrences that Bowen finds most fascinating. These outcomes are a collaboration between the natural form or function, the mechanism and the artist. This combination can be seen as an elaborate and even absurd method of capturing qualified data. Bowen sees the data collected in this manner as aesthetic data.

The installation, Tele-present Wind, consists of a series of 42 x/y tilting devices connected to thin dried plant stalks installed in the gallery and a dried plant stalk connected to an accelerometer installed outdoors. When the wind blows it causes the stalk outside to sway. The accelerometer detects this movement transmitting it in real-time to the grouping of devices in the gallery. Therefore the stalks in the gallery space move in real-time, in unison, based on the movement of the wind outside.

The installation, Fly Lights, consists of a series of 6 devices each with lights arranged in a ring around plastic spherical chambers containing various sized swarms of houseflies. Inside the chambers, along with the flies are sensors that correspond to the direction of each of the spotlights. When the sensors detect the subtle movements of the fly a micro-controller in real-time will turn on a light in the respective direction. Thus the flies’ movements are amplified throwing light throughout the space based on their movements. The collective result is a chaotic series of lights being projected into the space at various intervals and directions based on the subtle movements of the swarms.

Bowen is a studio artist and educator. His work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions including: Brainwave at Exit Art, New York, NY, The Japan Media Arts Festival at The National Art Center, Tokyo, if/then at Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA, Artbots at Eyebeam, New York, NY and Data + Art at The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. His work has been featured in publications such as: Art in America, Leonardo and Sculpture Magazine. Bowen was recently awarded Grand Prize in the Art Division in The Japan Media Art Festival and 3rd, Prize in the Vida 12.0 Art and Artificial Life International Awards. He received his BFA from Herron School of Art in 1999 and his MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture and Physical Computing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Bowen’s exhibition is a part of the Receiver Time Based Media Festival. The opening on Thursday Mar. 10, 2011, will kick off the festival. Receiver Time Based Media Festival will be the first of its kind in downtown Charleston. The festival features artists working in time based media. The Festival will soon be announcing the schedule for their programming March 10-13, 2011 in downtown Charleston.

There will be 20+ artists involved coming from all over the country and a few from Canada. Some artists will be attending the festival. Performances, video screenings, installations and kinetic sculptures will be scattered all over the city in venues such as the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Saul Alexander Gallery in the public library, Robert Lange Studios, Communications Museum and others. The hope is to provide an event that will push the boundaries of the art scene and the community in Charleston.

To learn more about Receiver Time Based Media Festival, please visit (

Redux Contemporary Art Center is a nonprofit organization committed to the fostering of creativity and the cultivation of contemporary art through diverse exhibitions, subsidized studio space for artists, expansive educational programming, and a multidisciplinary approach to the dialogue between artists and audience. Housed within a 6,000 square foot warehouse are two galleries, fifteen private artist studios, print shop, darkroom, woodshop, classroom, and film-screening area. Redux is committed to showing artwork by national and international artists, supporting local artists, and enriching the Charleston community by offering adult and youth education programs. As the only arts organization in Charleston providing these much needed opportunities, Redux maintains an ambitious schedule of exhibition, outreach, and studio programs to accomplish our goals.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 843/722-0697 or visit (

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