Scene in a Cave art show opens


 An interactive, collaborative exhibit by students from the art and engineering departments at Colorado State University-Pueblo, Scene in a Cave, is now open in the CSU-Pueblo Fine Art Gallery through Feb. 22.

In spring and fall of 2007, students from the exhibition design class and Senay Iman, a graduate student in the Department of Engineering Technology, began brainstorming how to use a robot in an art exhibit.  Senay and a team of students originally designed the robot to navigate the uncharted surface of Mars using its own sense of direction.  This collaboration seemed strangely appropriate as artists are familiar with the idea of navigating mysterious terrain. 

Scene in a Cave, the resulting collaborative exhibit, deals with unexpected outcomes in yet another way – by asking the viewers to participate in the work.   With the markers provided, gallery visitors can write a message to the robot that roams about on the other side of the clear plastic tunnel. Visitors might also choose to write a message to the gallery attendant, whose role as intermediary between the gallery visitors and the artwork is subverted by the walls of the tunnel.   These messages, along with the traced silhouettes of the previous gallery visitors, move the focus from looking at artwork to observing each other – a fascination which all humans share.

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, besides the blurred impression of the show that can be gotten through the tunnel walls, the only way gallery visitors can see the show is via the video transmission originating from a small camera mounted on the robot.   This live feed, which can be viewed on the monitor at the end of the tunnel, highlights the fact that so much of our experience of the world these days is mediated by technology. 

A lecture on the exhibit and current art movements, “Art, Electronics and Entertainment,” by Assistant Professor Caroline Peters will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in Art/Music 105.  Iman and co-project collaborator Mike Dismuke also will share their thoughts on the creation of the exhibit.  A reception will follow the lecture in the Fine Art Gallery at about 6 p.m.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Peters at 719-549-2404 or caroline.peters@colostate-pueblo.edu.