April 16, 2006

DeCordova Museum Visit

This morning Sean and I visited the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. It is quite the amazing place. Their main attraction is a sizeable sculpture garden located next to a neat pond and a very ecclectic looking main building.

We were there to see the Software Art exhibit to get some ideas for our MAS255 final project. All of the projects in the installation were interactive, but you had to cycle through different works using an interface that I found to be usable, but extremely clunky. There were works by LeCielEstBleu, G.E.B. Reas, and others.

Afterwards we took a look at the rest of the exhibitions. The James Surls exhibition was pretty incredible. The man has a very recognizable style and creates impressive and surreal wood sculptures. I was most impressed by his drawings. Surls displays a great confidence in his very long unbroken lines. Things like profiles and hands appear on the page in one seemingly effortless stroke. Pictures on the web don’t do this justice, these things are HUGE.

Another highlight of the trip was a small sculpture by Steve Hollinger. Hollinger creates a number of light-reactive automata and other sorts of self contained machines. The work exhbited at DeCordova was titled Jellyfish, and was a delicate machine suspended in mineral oil. When light was shining on it, it would activate a mechanism that would make its string tendrils dance around. There is a video on the site that demonstrates this, but it’s a very inspired work.