Send: Conversations in Evolving Media

June 11 – August 10, 2008
Meggan Gould • Alex Kahn • Jason Lewis• Carlo Pittore • YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art & Design (ICA at MECA&D) will present SEND: Conversations in Evolving Media, an exhibition that examines the nature of changing communication systems, focusing on exchanges that are simultaneously public and private. From letterpress and the postal service to search engines and cell phones, the artists in SEND re-invent the uses of information technology to uncover how methods may alter the meaning of interpersonal correspondence. Various forms of discourse are engaged to expose both the emotional pages and political implications of language manipulation. On display will be interactive installations, mail art correspondence, letterpress prints, and web art applications including digital photography and animation. Bring your cell phone or handheld PDA!

SEND: Conversations in Evolving Media highlights works by local and international artists Meggan Gould (Maine), Alex Kahn (New York), Jason Lewis (Montreal), Carlo Pittore (Maine), and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES (Soeul). Painter and Mail Art pioneer Carlo Pittore (1943-2005) was an iconoclastic and outspoken art activist devoted to the democratic, de-commercialized exchange of images and ideas.

SEND will highlight works that represent a longstanding, candid postal dialogue between Pittore and his friend and mentor, the noted scientist, poet, and artist Bern Porter. Founding member of the Union of Maine Visual Artists, Pittore studied painting in Maine, London, Rome, and New York.

Photographer Meggan Gould searches for alternating moments of clarity and dissolution within the cultural landscape. In the Go ogle project, Gould illustrates the impossibility of matching specific language with universal visual definition. The photographs of Go ogle are constructed by mining search engine results, yielding composite images that reflect an eerily vague potential in communication. Gould is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Bowdoin College.

Alex Kahn’s letterpress and drypoint Spam Cantos play with the daily nuisance of spam email programs that employ Bayesean logic, spewing forth familiar and intriguing nonsense geared towards encouraging individual consumption. Using the proportions and format of the Gutenberg Bible, the Cantos marry historic forms of information transfer with state-of-the-art marketing methods. Kahn completed a Fulbright Scholarship Award studying Carnival traditions in Trinidad, and is Chief puppet creator for New York City’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.

Digital artist Jason Lewis creates interactive installations that invite the public to experience text as a dynamic, living entity. Works on view in SEND allow viewers to participate in sculpting open dialogues via the use of microphones, or personal handheld communication devices such as cell phones. Lewis has written extensively about information theory and multimedia, is currently Assistant Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, and the Founder and Director of Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media.

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Young-hae Chang and Marc Voge, creates deceptively simple text-based Flash animations set to infectious jazz scores. Revealing both the anonymous character and the uniquely personal experience inherent to internet browsing, YHCHI presents musings that are equally hypnotic and provocative. YOUNG HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES has exhibited work worldwide in such venues as the Tate, the Centre Pompidou, the Whitney Museum, the Getty Center, the Venice Biennale, and the São Paulo Biennial.