Future Visions

Regional Juried Exhibition

Selected by Nancy Adams (Communications Administrator at MIT D-Lab and Mobius affiliate)

September 1 – October 1, 2016

Read and listen to some of the Future Visions artists discuss their work in relation to the exhibition theme. Headphones recommended.

Every work included in the exhibition is shown below, in the order of display (left to right).

Gregory Albertson Future Visions

Gregory Albertson, West Newton, MA

151-220-021, archival pigment print, 22.5″x29.25″, 2015

My recent work seeks out landscapes in unexpected places.  My aim is to capture and create evocative environments that pique the interest of the viewer and allow them the opportunity to formulate their own stories about the places depicted before them.

Some may view the image included in this exhibition as a dystopian view of earth to come.  Others may see it as a more hopeful image perhaps sent back from a future exploratory visit to a distant planet.  

Your mind will likely generate a completely different and very personal scenario.  I encourage you to come and visit this place more than once as it is my goal that the image generates fresh stories with each viewing.  I hope that all will be fascinating journeys.

Susan Schmidt Future Visions

Susan Schmidt, Cambridge, MA

As long as I’m here……#4, polymer plate print, stencil, 34.5”x18”, 2016

These prints are inspired by the tradition of drawing from observation. I draw sections of succulents, vines and other interwoven plant forms; living subjects that impress me with their particular shapes, patterns of growth, abundance and tenacity to survive. While attached to the history of naturalist drawing I also understand that artists can no longer innocently continue in this tradition. It is interrupted by the loss of biodiversity, rapid changes in climate and rise of invasive species, among other assaults to our physical world.  My work is informed by the dissonance between the inherent beauty and interconnected life of natural forms alongside man-made threats to their existence. In addition to drawing, I examine charts, maps, diagrams of weather patterns and other graphic data that is used to explain the mechanics of climate. These are the silhouette shapes in my prints come from that kind of information.

Petrea Noyes, Lincolnville, ME

Desolation Row, pigment inkjet on canvas, 13”x13”x2”, 2016

Sirarpi Heghinian-Walzer, Lexington, MA 

Woman in Red, mixed media collage, ink on paper, 19.25”x15.5”, 2015

My mixed media abstractions echo the ideas and values that take center stage in my thoughts — an ongoing tension between freedom and containment, edging both the artist and the viewer closer to that place where chaos can erupt into clarity, and memories are distilled into single dramatic moments. I use the color white to suggest purity and simplicity, and to act as a unifying field for deliberately juxtaposed disparate images. The forms and exaggerations of color choices are metaphors for a search, with clues to content and interpretation, representing different layers of life, alluding both to what is present and what is missing.

Lauren Orchowski Future Visions

Lauren Orchowski, Katonah, NY 

Blasting Zone, charcoal and graphite on paper, 29.5″x37.5″, 2016

By the year 2060 humans have been mining the Earth moon for decades and using it as a convenient stopover point for travel to other destinations within the galaxy.  As a result of the mining industries, the surface of the moon has become so altered from blast holes and strip mining that it is no longer a recognizable natural lunar environment. The appearance of the landscape has become unsettling to both the full time lunar residents and the tourists.  Rather than attempting to return the lunar surface to its original state, the residents of the Earth moon have voted to implement new visual scenery, albeit to the tune of a drastically alternative looking landscape when compared to the former beauty of natural craters and rolling hills. To cover up the damage caused by the mining, the responsible corporations back on Earth have agreed to transport defunct cell tower trees to the moon and begin a process of “planting” saguaros, mono-palms, and mono-pines.

Delia Cadman Future Visions

Delia Cadman, New York, NY 

The Becoming, oil on canvas, 41″x30″, 2016

In destroying and mutilating nature, we are only destroying ourselves as humans. The interaction between humans and nature is a recurring theme in my artwork.

Jessica Nora, Cambridge, MA

Aftermath H, eyelash yarn, 72″ x 56″, 2016

Louise Bourgeois is known to have said, “An artist can show things that other people are terrified of expressing.”  This one line acts as my strongest motivation in my art.  As an artist, I have the ability to bring up uncomfortable topics that others shy away from.  With this ability, comes a responsibility—a responsibility to talk about the uncomfortable things that need to be said.  My artwork examines fear and the internal struggle that is caused by one experiencing a traumatic event.  A traumatic event can be a wide variety of things: being a victim or witness of sexual assault or violence, suffering from a chronic illness, or many others.  A traumatic event isn’t about what caused the trauma, but about a person’s perceived vulnerability or endangerment.  What all people who have experienced traumatic events have in common are the emotions that come afterwards.  These resulting emotions and coping mechanisms are the focus of my work—the uncomfortable topic that needs to be shown.

Leah Netsky, Cambridge, MA

The Future of Vegetables, digital photograph, 12”x18”, 2016

As humans, we are driven to make order out of the natural world around us. Nature is visceral, wild, and threatening to our sense of control and composure. We gravitate toward convenience, often compromising the quality of food products for quantity and the ease of an extended shelf-life. With the growing abundance of processed foods, we are quickly losing touch with where our food comes from and how much “food” it actually contains. This piece is a play on the portable, geometric nature of frozen and canned products and the manipulation of these and other mass produced foods by the food industry.

Cassandra Zampini, Cambridge, MA

Bus Line, silver gelatin fiber print, 21”x29” wood framed edge to edge print, 2015

The cityscape at once reveals much about where we have landed as a culture and where we might go, while at the same time being a perfect canvas of geometry and contrast that frames the humanity alive within it. For this reason, the city is my studio and the canvas in which I use to frame the mood landscape of the American mind.

Khalid Sabree Future Visions

Khalid Sabree, Bronx, NY

The Art of Dog Walking, acrylics and marker, 30”x40”, 2015

This piece is about two themes. The first theme is the idea of art coming to life in the future, i.e; 3D printing, virtual reality glasses and holograms. The second theme is about the idea of collaborations between artists’ styles and the artists themselves. In this work are images of Koons, Schultz, Haring and My own work, all together showing a unity in one painting, yet standing all apart from each other.  In the future, artists will collaborate more to bring a more unified world.

Bob Hesse, Winchester, MA

Unquiet City XXII, archival pigment print, 18”x24”, 2015

A lifetime as a research scientist has taught me that what is important cannot be reduced to words and numbers. We rely on art for this vital part which cannot be counted or put into words. An artist’s statement, then, is much like a silent film of a concert. We can see the instruments and players but are left to imagine the music. Recently a series of unpleasant events involving family and friends, capped by a serious fracture and the instant disruption which followed, forced me to confront the mutability of of what seemed solid things. I have been fascinated by the way Boston’s crazy quilt of streets assembles rather uninteresting architecture into intriguing, sometimes surreal collages so I have been photographing Boston buildings, taking them apart, distorting, and reassembling them into unsettled images to convey the thinness and fragility of the membrane which separates the everyday world we take for granted from another, alien, menacing and all too easily entered realm.

Peter Hamlin Future Visions

Peter Hamlin, Brooklyn, NY

Transcending Scarcity, acrylic and glitter on linen, 30”x30”, 2016

As technologies grow, evolve, and become more widespread in everyday life, their great potentials for both creative and destructive outcomes raise increasingly compelling questions.  Peter Hamlin’s work explores the possible implications of these far reaching technological shifts through envisioning the future with an intuitive visual process while utilizing elements of storytelling and myth-making.  Peter aims to create inviting experiences for the viewer and to raise questions while engaging with historical and contemporary art dialogues. Subjects in the work involve creation themes, artificially intelligent entities, new synthetic organisms, and environments where technology is indistinguishable from life. Peter creates a place for exploration of how we adapt as a species, determine our future, and prepare for what’s to come.

Timothy Wilson Future Visions

Timothy Wilson, Somerville, MA

Flooded Out, photograph, 24″x19”, 2015

Early in my long career as a fine art photographer, I used a twin lens Rolleifex with which I made rather melancholy but evocative black and white landscapes of Martha’s Vineyard. Encouragement from painters and photographers I respected led me to develop a style which obscures boundaries between painting and photography, emphasizing shape and atmosphere over content or locale. I strive for a level of mystery and poignancy in my work.

Flooded Out is a worrisome images about the future of Maine houses on the coast. This house was abandoned hurriedly with contents left for the weather, whatever that may be.

Aleksander Popovic Future Visions

Aleksandar Popovic, Brooklyn, NY

Endangered Land II, oil on linen, 42″x54”, 2014

Islands: This series of paintings is dealing with the general recognition that some irrevocable events in the future may change the face of the planet.  I am interested in exposing the fragile and temporary nature of land surrounded by the masses of rising water.  Islands as remnants of the land and islands in the process of dissolution  serve as a metaphor for what will be left.

Elizabeth Weiss, New York, NY

Bird Air, mixed media – photography, acrylic, tissue on foil, 10″x12″x3″, 2016

I came to mixed media collage as a result of my love of working with a variety of materials and mediums coupled with a very short attention span. One material was never enough! I needed to mix the paper with the wood, the clay with the glass, and the ink with the fabric – and then I needed to mix it all together. Discovery and invention are a large and exciting part of my work process. I am always searching for new things to add to my artistic cache of materials and tools. For me, it is the process, the artistic journey that is most important. A piece starts with an idea or photograph, followed by time spent experimenting with my materials to push them into a non-traditional form to be used in new ways. I seek to develop new methods and techniques, and then combine them into a final composition.    My intention as an artist is to create something engaging that invites the viewer to step closer, to see and enjoy the individual elements that make up the whole.

Karen Rothman Future Visions

Karen Rothman, Newton, MA

Snuffing Out the Light 2, mixed media – collaged newspaper images, acrylic paint on canvas, 20″x16″, 2015. NFS

Snuffing Out the Light 2 addresses the issue of air pollution in large cities. Smog-laden atmosphere is the result of the interaction between vehicle emissions and sunlight. Unless this problem is sufficiently tackled, lives of city inhabitants will be even more compromised in the future.

Frank Koran, Boston, MA

The Kiss, watercolor, 25″x40”, 2016

I believe that this era, the early 21st century, is the most important age in the development of civilization. It is, in and of itself, an age of paradoxical technological advancements, born to bring us together, a facade of connectedness. My work is inspired by the undeniable beauty of our advancements, and also by their counter applications. This is the only age that anyone can have access to the majority of collected knowledge in the palm of their hand or be able to connect with anyone at the touch of a button, and it is crashing headlong into the analog days of the 20th century. Our cellphones, our connection to the internet, extend infinitely inwardly. But does this illusion of connectedness and pleasure cut us off from our own individuality, from our friends, family, or the simple pleasures of the real world? The phone booth has only disappeared physically.  Advancements in culture and technology serve to create synthetic realities, ones much more enjoyable than our own.

Melissa Gollance, Brooklyn, NY

Surge ⇌ Diffuse, c-print, 35”x20”, 2016

In her hybrid art practice, Melissa Gollance explores the intimacy between phone users and their devices. She sees the surface of the screen itself as a petri dish of overlooked data. One’s desires, habits, and compulsions lay embedded in the oily residue imprinted by their fingers. In contrast to the logical structure of the device’s software, smudges result from subconscious instinct. Organic matter collects on the screen’s surface in direct response to the physical contents of the phone’s surroundings and the idiosyncrasies of its user’s behavior.   Gollance transforms smudge compositions into new geographies by digitally reconfiguring satellite imagery. Each resulting map documents a personal world of a particular person. These maps visually manifest the rich, intensely private relationships that users share with their devices. They address how malleable boundaries have become in the age of digital technology while emphasizing the humanity at the very basis of each fingerprint.

Alycia Thompson Future Visions Insert Nerdy Face Here
Alycia Thompson Future Visions

Alycia Thompson, New York, NY

Insert Frowny Face Here, oil on canvas, 14″x14, 2016

Insert Nerdy Face Here, oil on canvas, 14″x14″, 2016

In today’s society, texting has become how we communicate. To help with the lack of tonal changes we would get with listening to a voice, emojis were created. They are always creating new ones to help us express ourselves better. In my work, I show an emotion I would feel when using each emoji. I translate that onto canvas to show how each emotion could be construed.

Joseph Bacou, Brooklyn, NY

l e t t uc e xvi, HD video animation, 3:50 min (looped), silent, 32”x55”, 2016

The germinal point of  l e t t uc e (xvi) is a 14 year old male chimpanzee held at the London Zoo named Miles. The main caretaker at the zoo reads poetry to Miles. The poem in which Miles responds to with the most enthusiasm is titled Private Eye Lettuce by Richard Brautigan. Joseph Bacou has modeled a 3D character with Miles in mind.

The outcome is a six minute looped animation (silent) in which a 3D sculpted chimpanzee using ASL (American Sign Language) communicates a script littered with lines from Private Eye Lettuce as well as the algorithmic code used in the computer generated modeling process of sculpting this primate in 3D space. Signing poetry as well as numeric / algorithmic code.

Marcus Parsons Future Visions

Marcus Parsons, Newton, MA

It Is Coming, archival print from photograph and digital art, 17”x27”, 2015

Will tiny drones (and similar) turn our lives inside out? Something of the kind may be inevitable. Note the development and spread these days of cellphone video, surveillance cameras, body and dashboard cams, street view navigation, miniature sensors and recorders, mobile robots, spyware, data mining, AI, advanced networking, hacking, Wiki (et al.) leaking, mind-reading neuroscience, ever smaller and more capable drones, etc.

With such increasing transparency in our lives, and public acceptance of same, what may become of us as individuals, as societies, and as a civilization? Whither the self, family, and community? Some intriguing and challenging possibilities, and profound changes, may be coming our way.

Ken Perez, Boston, MA

OI Projectors, colored pencil, 8”x11”, 2016

These are OI projectors – These colorful, lightweight projectors are modeled after plant life – even their circuitry is modeled after healthily-arranged veins, stabilizing geometric patterns, and other dynamic-organic formations. These devices are called ‘OI’, because they represent organic intelligence, as opposed to AI – which itself is a synthetic blueprint for the OI system. Their ultra-geometric lenses are also hyper-sensitive to light or sentient energy. This allows the projectors to alchemically manifest organic mechanisms made of pure energy, which heal and nourish our atmosphere in a kind of ‘photo-synthesis’.

I believe that all physical systems are blueprints for a greater system (beyond our three-dimensional realm). This multidimensional, organic, and sentient system operates on many intersecting/complimentary levels: where thoughts, cosmic particles, genes, and various forms of energy and matter are interchangeable.The implication here is that we should present our sciences, educational and spiritual systems, and artistic disciplines in a more sensitive, ethical, compassionate, and visionary/creative way, in order to perceive this dynamic system-consciousness . This fluctuating, multilayered system is mostly holographic in nature – hence, it is interchangeable, yet interconnecting informational capacity. Thus, my work encourages a more logic-based clairvoyance (beyond the constraints of language, mathematics, and other structures of formality) enabling one to see in an all-permeating way. This allows one to map out and manifest an all-embracing, all-healing, self-replenishing free energy system.