- 19 June 2009 - 6 September 2009
This summer FACT is delighted to present the first UK exhibition by San Francisco based artist Bernie Lubell. The exhibition forms part of FACT's year-long UNsustainable programme, debating the multiple issues currently facing the planet, as a response to Liverpool's Year of the Environment. The exhibition features a giant new commission A Theory of Entanglement for FACT's atrium, and installations of previous works such as Conservation of Intimacy, ...and the Synapse Sweetly Singing and Etiology of Innocence in Galleries 1 and 2.
Bernie has exhibited internationally including Ars Electonica in 2007 where he received the Award of Distinction for Interactive Art. Resembling three-dimensional medieval diagrams that map questions about our place in the universe and the incompleteness of our knowledge, Bernie's machines demand the cooperation of people to make them work, bearing the wider message that only by working together can we create solutions to our everyday problems.
Constructed from soft, sustainable woods the works on show are adamantly low-tech. They are ill-suited to be machines, and hover between functioning and not. Bernie uses simple natural materials to highlight the genius of old technologies that lend fresh consideration to contemporary issues. In particular, the artist takes inspiration from the work of French physiologist and chronophotographer Étienne-Jules Marey who was obsessed with understanding movement. From horses and birds to human limbs and the heartbeat, Marey's work was pioneering in cinematography, medical imaging, cardiology and aviation. After suffering from cardio problems in 1995 Bernie adapted Marey's pneumatic sensor technologies to explore the conflicted relationship we have with the machines we have become so dependent on.
The exhibition features a giant new commission A Theory of Entanglement for FACT's atrium, and installations of previous works such as Conservation of Intimacy, ...and the Synapse Sweetly Singing and Etiology of Innocence in Galleries 1 and 2. In addition there is a new collaborative project Flying Flappers for the Media Lounge. This summer we've turned the space into a family friendly area where everyone is invited to create their own flying bird out of recy- cled materials and add it to the exhibition (or you can take it away with you). Here you can also find out more about the Victorian technologies that have inspired Bernie to make his work.
Please note that the artworks need you to interact with them to make them function, so feel free to pedal, touch, wind and even get inside the artworks - ask the gallery assistants if you need any help. Have fun playing with the exhibition!
Images courtesy of the artist.