Inside the Wave: Exhibition Features Social Art from Contemporary San Diego/Tijuana Artists

San Diego, CA, February 29, 2008  -- A new exhibition organized by the San Diego Museum of Art showcases regional artists producing thought-provoking and interactive social art -- and the artists include two UC San Diego professors supported by the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA). 

particle group
The *particle group*, funded by Calit2 and UCSD Arts & Humanities, is among the artists represented in the new San Diego Museum of Art exhibition, March 8-June 22.

Running from March 8 through June 22, 2008, Inside the Wave features six artists and artist collectives from the San Diego/Tijuana region working within spheres of alternative cultures to produce works that combine material culture and everyday life. Participating artists include Adriene Jenik (whose SPECFLIC speculative cinema work debuted at the dedication of Calit2's Atkinson Hall); Tijuana-based bulbo (a collective that includes an undergraduate student of Jenik's); Brian Dick and Allison Wiese, both MFA graduates from UCSD; Zlatan Vukosavljevic; and the *particle group*, a collective of media and performance artists, including UCSD visual arts professor Ricardo Dominguez.

The *particle group* is funded by Calit2 and the UCSD Division of Arts and Humanities. Dominguez and Diane Ludin are principal investigators on the project. Lead investigators include Nina Waisman and Amy Sara Carroll, supported by Assistant Researchers Robert Twomey, Caleb Waldorf, Marius Schebella, Pierre Galaud and Césaire José Carroll-Dominguez. (Waisman, Twomey and Waldorf are all graduate student artists at UCSD.)  "The group combines theater, activism and humor into many works that forge a subversive relationship with the newest frontiers of technological science in an effort to undermine some of their assumptions of authority and power," said Ricardo Dominguez.

SPECFLIC 2.0 by Adriene Jenik, an installation at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Public Library in San Jose. (December 2006)

UCSD professor Adriene Jenik is a telecommunications media artist who has been working for over 15 years as an artist, teacher, curator, administrator, and engineer. Her works combine “high” technology and human desire to propose new forms of literature, cinema, and performance. Her recent works are large-scale public art events that take place over community-wide wireless networks. For Inside the Wave , "it is an installation made with components from the Library story of SPECFLIC 2.0, but it has been reshot, edited and conceived for the museum installation," said Jenik.

SPECFLIC 2.0 was staged at the San Jose Public Library in 2006, following SPECFLIC 1.0, the version which premiered at Calit2 in late 2005. Jenik is affiliated with Calit2 as well as CRCA.

While their works are represented separately in the San Diego Museum of Art exhibition, Dominguez and Jenik have collaborated previously within Calit2 and CRCA, in particular with Dominguez developing a NanoJanitor character for SPECFLIC 1.0, and narrating video components of both SPECFLIC versions.

The artists featured in Inside the Wave, organized by the San Diego Museum of Art’s curator of contemporary art, Betti-Sue Hertz, all produce art that engages ideas about how societies construct meaning through material objects. According to the museum, the artists "create works that allow for interaction with the art object, either by the artist or the viewer, in order to express their personal explorations of social and political issues. The artists achieve this by manipulating existing cultural materials or by creating a physical environment through digital technology."

The works in the exhibition create an individual experience with the fragility of the present and the contingency of objects, actions, and ideas. The social nature of these works is also apparent in the artists’ presentations of situations that shape human behavior. Additionally, various sciences, from psychology and sociology to biology and chemistry, play a conceptual role in shaping the content and structures of these artworks.

Through the use of sculptures, photographs, documentary videos, and interactive digital media, each artist in Inside the Wave expresses sensitivity to a unique subculture in order to convey ideas about how collective social contexts shape individual experience. The works on view include bulbo’s re-enactment of a 12-step program with a Tijuana twist; Dick’s photographs documenting his daily ritual of making an artwork out of bedding; Jenik’s “speculative social cinema” creating a scenario of near-future libraries through characters and situations representative of technological frontiers; *particle group*’s sensor-equipped sniffing sculptures that educate viewers on the possible risks of nanotechnology in current consumer products; Vukosavljevic’s sculptures and drawings that externalize his feelings about Serbia, his home country; and Wiese’s nod to Americana, ingenuity, and alchemy with her homegrown whiskey distillery.

Several special events will take place throughout the run of Inside the Wave . Brian Dick will present unscheduled, impromptu performances of his “Mascot” character in and around the Museum. *particle group* will also hold a performance in the exhibition galleries on Saturday, March 8, at 2:00 p.m. In addition, there will be a special panel discussion with all participating artists and the exhibition curator on Tuesday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the James S. Copley Auditorium.

Inside the Wave is generously sponsored by RBC Dain Rauscher, presenting a season of fine art at the San Diego Museum of Art. Support is also provided by members of the San Diego Museum of Art, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program.

The historic San Diego Museum of Art provides a rich and diverse cultural experience for more than 400,000 annual visitors. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned collections include Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures. In addition, the Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule of supporting cultural and educational programs.

The San Diego Museum of Art is located at 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. For general information, call (619) 232-7931; for group sales, (619) 696-1915.

Related Links
San Diego Museum of Art
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Media Contacts

Media Contact: Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825, or Inga Kiderra, 858-822-0661,