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Juan Downey: Radiant Nature

September 13 - December 3

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Juan Downey Fall 2017

Juan Downey: Radiant Nature
September – December 2017

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) and Pitzer College Art Galleries
LACE Opening Reception: September 13, 2017 7-10PM
Pitzer College Art Galleries Opening Reception: September 9, 2017 3-5PM

Juan Downey: Radiant Nature, is a two-part exhibition on the early works of Chilean-born artist Juan Downey as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative exploring the vast subject of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

From the late 1960s until the mid-1970s, Juan Downey (b. Chile, 1940; d. New York, 1993) pioneered interactive, participatory artworks that helped shape his better-known multichannel video installations such as Video Trans Americas (1973–76) and The Thinking Eye (1976–77). The works that make up Downey’s Electronic Sculptures (1967–71); Happenings and Performances (1968–75); and Life Cycle Installations (1970–73) take radically dierent forms, but they share similar strategies; conceived as vehicles for interactivity, they are intended to be played with or participated in rather than passively observed.

Downey was especially interested in the potential of technology to facilitate viewer participation, transform social relations, and forge new modes of communication between organic elements or environments and machines or machine systems. Borrowing ideas from second-order cybernetics, he conceived the organic and technological aspects of his work as relational, operating in tandem and alterable by feedback. Viewer-participants interfacing with the Electronic Sculptures, for example, may trigger an array of outcomes—sounds, colored lights, projections—depending on their actions. Similarly, Downey imagined participants in his Happenings and Performances as part of an unpredictable, amorphous system in which performers, video cameras, closed-circuit televisions, laser beams, and viewer-participants are working together. The Life Cycle Installations create an interdependence between mechanic and organic elements—plants, soil, and insects and electronic sensors, cameras, and television monitors—demonstrating Downey’s belief in the potential of cybernetics to solve large-scale environmental issues by rebalancing relationships between humans, technologies, and ecologies.

Juan Downey: Radiant Nature es una exposición en dos sedes enfocada en la obra temprana del artista nacido en Chile Juan Downey que forma parte de Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, una iniciativa de la Getty dedicada a explorar la amplía temática del diálogo entre el arte latinoamericano y latino y la ciudad de Los Ángeles.

A partir de finales de los 60s y hasta mediados de los 70s, Juan Downey (Chile, 1940 – Nueva York, 1993) concibió obras de arte interactivas y participativas que antecedieron y dieron forma a sus instalaciones mejor conocidas de video en canales múltiples como Video Trans Americas (1973–76) y The Thinking Eye (1976–77). Las obras que conforman las Esculturas Electrónicas de Downey (1967–71); sus Happenings y Performances (1968–75); y las instalaciones de Life Cycle (1970–73) se manifiestan de manera radicalmente distinta pero comparten estrategias similares; planteadas como vehículos de interacción, su intención es propiciar el juego y la participación en vez de la observación pasiva.

Downey estaba particularmente interesado en la capacidad de la tecnología para facilitar la participación del espectador, transformar las relaciones sociales y forjar nuevos modelos de comunicación entre elementos y ambientes orgánicos y sistemas mecanizados. A partir de teorías de la cibernética de segundo orden, planteó los aspectos orgánicos y tecnológicos de su trabajo como simbióticos, operando en conjunto y capaces de alterarse mutuamente a través de retroalimentación. Por ejemplo, dependiendo de la acción que lleven a cabo los espectadores-participantes al interactuar con las Esculturas Electrónicas pueden activar cualquiera de una serie de respuestas: sonidos, luces de colores o proyecciones. De una manera parecida, Downey imaginaba a los integrantes de sus Happenings y Performances como parte de un sistema amorfo e impredecible en el que colaboraban participantes, videocámaras, televisores en circuito cerrado, rayos laser y espectadores activos. Las instalaciones de Life Cycle articulan una simbiosis entre elementos mecánicos y orgánicos—plantas, tierra, insectos, sensores electrónicos, cámaras y monitores televisivos—que demuestra la creencia de Downey en el potencial de la cibernética para resolver problemas ecológicos masivos al alterar el equilibrio de la relación entre humanos, tecnologías y ecologías.

 

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PROGRAMMING

September 9, 3-5PM – Exhibition Opening at Pitzer College Art Galleries

Nichols Gallery – inside Broad Center at the intersection of Platt Boulevard and Mills Avenue
Lenzner Family Art Gallery – on the north end of Atherton Hall on Pitzer Road

September 13, 7-10PM – Exhibition Opening Reception at LACE

November 1, 7-9PM – Exhibition Publication Launch

November 18, 10AM-3PM – Cybernetics Conference at Pitzer College

About PST: LA/LA

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California.

Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions and programs, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art from the ancient world to the present day. With topics such as luxury arts in the pre-Columbian Americas, 20th century Afro- Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary-crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries.

Supported by more than $16 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA involves more than 70 cultural institutions from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Each iteration of Pacific Standard focuses on a critical aspect of Southern California’s pivotal role in the history of art and architecture.

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Major support for Juan Downey: Radiant Nature provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

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The exhibition is also generously supported by Dirección de Asuntos Culturales, DIRAC, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Embassy of Chile; Pasadena Art Alliance; and Estrellita B. Brodsky.

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Details

Start:
September 13
End:
December 3
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Venue

LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
6522 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028 United States
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Phone:
(323)957-1777
Website:
welcometolace.org