In the North and Center Galleries: Analog Immigration, a site-specific installation by Przemyslaw Jasielski, an artist-in-residence of the Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion program hosted by The Sculpture Center. Jasielski is working in the sculpture studio of Cleveland State University and is honored by Cleveland State University's Polish Studies as their Visiting Polish Scholar. The exhibition is presented in partnership between Cleveland State University and The Sculpture Center. A Gallery Conversation with the artist is scheduled for 6:30pm on the night of the opening Friday, October 25 from 5 to 8pm.
In my work I'm trying to combine procedures from the art world and the world of science and technology. The main reason for this is that the world today’s world is so saturated with all kinds of technology and technical thinking.
Recently, I came across the idea that science describes the Universe as it is, and art describes the Universe the way you want it to be. I totally disagree with that. I would rather say that both science and art help us to understand the same Universe in different ways. The artist is seeing what others see but from a different perspective. This helps us to observe things with a free, unencumbered eye.
Shortly after coming to Cleveland I realized that Clevelanders have a very specific sense of history. Whereas in Europe historical heritage is grounded in very old things and forgotten times, in Cleveland history is fresh -- you can almost taste it or smell it. Most of the people I talked to explained things to me in an historical context, which is a very pleasant surprise to me. What is important is not remembering the good old days and complaining about the present, but to understand history as a continuum from the past to what we have now.
The second inspiration for the project was an idea created by Marc Prensky, the American thinker, dividing mankind into two groups: digital immigrants (individuals who grew up before computers were widely available) and digital natives (all who were born in the digital era).
Combining these two notions with the very present industrial character of this place I came up with the idea of 'Analog Immigration' - a specific back-in-time travel to the period when there were no digital devices. I'm going to create an environment that will allow viewers to experience the analog era -- a place devoid of constant internet access and cell phones.
With the help of CSU Sculpture students we will build a cubical wire-mesh structure inside the gallery. This structure, like a Faraday cage, will block and filter electromagnetic signals including wi-fi and mobile networks. Additionally, every person entering the show will be asked to leave all digital devices at a checkpoint at the entrance.
PRZEMYSLAW JASIELSKI: Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion Artist-in-Residence at the Art Department of Cleveland State University, hosted by The Sculpture Center
Since receiving his Masters Degree in Sculpture from Poznan Academy of Fine Arts (1994), where he is now a professor, Przemyslaw Jasielski has been creating installations, objects, drawings and photographs combining art with science and technology in ever evolving ways. His most recent piece, Leviathan, a huge object covered with a coating reactive to touch that emits various sounds and vibrations as a result of interaction with the audience, was commissioned by the Polish Minister of Culture for the Malta Festival Poznan (summer 2013). Other works have been presented at numerous domestic and international exhibitions, including Tokyo Wonder Site (a 2012 residency), Skolska 28 Gallery in Prague, the Czech Republic, Gyeonggi Creation Center in South Korea (a 2010 residency), Lucas Artists Residency in Montalvo, California, USA, Optica Gallery in Montreal, Canada and Le Guern Gallery in Warsaw, Poland.
In the creative process Jasielski approaches the work with the attitude of an engineer, adapting the precise planning and scientific research, while focusing on the conceptual content rather than used techniques or materials. Many of these works explore rituals of everyday reality, playing a specific game with the imagination and wisdom of the viewer, with his habits shaped by daily routine of contemporary world and his own presence in it. Most of them are in a close relation to the space and are interactive – the spectator is allowed to play with them or even to change their shape. Jasielski’s works confront, actually present reality with its transformation to allow the viewer observe it in a new, fresh way. They usually contain a specific, critical sense of humor that is not irony or cynicism, but is in a way serious. They often try to take actions commonly seen as impossible, useless, ineffective or too difficult.