The AC Institute Presents 4 New Exhibitions

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The AC Institute Presents 4 New Exhibitions

16 E. 48th St.
4th Floor
New York, NY 10017
May 12th, 2011 - June 18th, 2011
Opening: May 12th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Fri 1-5
mixed-media, installation, video-art, conceptual, sculpture


An AC Institute Curated Event 

May 12 – June 18, 2011

Opening Event: Thursday, May 12, 2011 6-8pm


Joseph Farbrook:  Strata-Caster



The Kit Collaboration + Robert Saucier: Virutorium


Joseph Farbrook: Strata-Caster

Scantly a generation ago, moving image screens were restricted to television and cinema and the content was nearly exclusively generated by corporations and conglomerates that dictated the form and aesthetic of what should and should not be seen by the masses.   The content was restricted almost entirely to news and entertainment and limited in scope to what could be sold as a commodity. 

Presently, technological advances have given moving image screens an explosion of new forms and possibilities of content.   Adding up the hours we spend staring into screens, it could be argued that we are seeing an ever-greater part of our lives mediated by this device.   Virtual Reality has quietly emerged on this side of the screen and embedded itself into our psyches.  The collective imagination is to an ever-greater extent being co-opted and aligning itself to the operational workings of this new prosthetic.   It is now a critical time for artists to temper this overwhelming involvement and offer insights into this reality, complete with new paradigms of perception, new ways of seeing into, and through, the ubiquitous screen.  

“Strata-Caster” is an installation that explores the topography of power, prestige, and position.   It exists in the virtual world of Second Life, a place populated by approximately 50,000 people at any given moment. Although virtual and infinite, it continues to mirror the physical world, complete with representations of prestige and exclusivity. Even without the limitations of the physical, why are borders and separation still prized so highly?  Entry into this installation is by wheelchair, an unfamiliar interface to the limitless expanse of virtual space, but one that continuously calls attention to limitation and position.


Materials: Paraffin wax, ply wood, industrial pine, halogen light, tape, elastic cord, glitter, plastic toy soldiers, floating devices, rope, paint strippers, hair dryers, indoor heaters, fluorescent light and skipping rope. Dimensions variable, 2011.

Michael Georgetti makes installations and sculptures that usually move or fall apart. Using a combination of painting, kinetics and found objects these structures are made with an emphasis on poetics, play and deconstruction in order to create precarious relationships between ephemeral sculpture and the everyday world.

These sculptures often collapse to imitate the way things don’t work or inevitably fall apart. Engine parts and electric machines are dismantled and re-coordinated to create relationships between inanimate objects and social behavior.

These constructions are often dysfunctional and usually border on being precarious. In their making, tape, rope, elastic cord and cling-wrap are used as bandages and stabilizing devices. In this sense, a relationship between repairing and constructing occurs where these works become provisional. Often they appear anthropomorphic because they manifest from ideas that have personalities.

 A broad range of commercial and industrial materials are deployed in these structures: bathtubs, tennis balls, arrows, electric toy cars, paint, cement, hockey sticks, pool cues, crack pipes, wax, yoga mats, garment steamers, hair dryers, alcohol, water and portable swimming pools.

These materials are chosen for the way they can mimic human behavior and expose the materiality of the world we construct around us. In a gallery context, Georgetti sets up scenarios that have a short-durational quality in order to create readings of the way people deal with impermanence. But often these ideas manifest in a slapstick and humorous way to generate experiences of absurdity and the imperfect nature of human behavior.

Through painting, sculpture, installation and film, Georgetti explores the duality of behaviour and technology; the way thoughts and feelings manifest within the mechanical and constructed environments we create around us.


With five millennia of history, and a plethora of religious and civil ceremonies, marriage is a popular means of producing families. Yet matrimony isn't the only method of uniting people, nor even is it the most effective technique. Modern science suggests a far more profound alternative, one that does not operate by religious tradition or civil mandate, but rather bonds couples by a law of nature: quantum entanglement.

According to quantum mechanics, when two or more particles are entangled, they behave as if they were one and the same. Any change to one instantaneously and identically changes those entangled with it even if they're a universe apart. While the phenomenon has been applied to fields such as military encryption, Jonathon Keats has put entanglement to work for the more worthy purpose of fostering human relations.

The technology is straightforward: Exposed to solar radiation, a nonlinear crystal entangles photons. Pairs of entangled photons are divided by prisms. The photoelectric effect translates their entangled state to the bodies of a couple who wish to be united, entangling them in a quantum wedding.

There are no restrictions on who may be entangled to whom. The process is unsupervised. No records are kept. Even those who get entangled will have to take their entanglement on faith, as any attempt to measure a quantum system disentangles it: A quantum marriage will literally be broken up by skepticism about it.

The potential of quantum marriage will be fulfilled by those who choose to engage it. After five thousand years of manmade laws, often exclusionary or punitive, science promises to liberate marriage through technology freely offering entanglement to everybody.

The Kit Collaboration + Robert Saucier: Virutorium

Virutorium is the second joint project by The Kit Collaboration + Robert Saucier. Their first project named Infrasense was a large-scale sound installation that toured 11 galleries in Canada, UK, USA and Belgium between 2004 to 2006 and dealt with the cultural economy of paranoia surrounding the word ‘virus’ in its biological (sexual), computational (coding) and capital (marketing) forms. Virutorium is an interactive robotic sound installation, a kinetic and aural work that advances themes originated in the Infrasense project. This new project explores the extensive and pervasive cultural dynamics of the ‘virus’ and seeks to highlight how far viral systems and models are influencing bodily and computer based communication systems, modes of capitalism and socio-sexual relations, ultimately contemplating how we construct cultural memories about transient entities that we consider detrimental to our livelihoods.

Artist Biographies:

Joseph Farbrook grew up in New York City and Santa Fe, raised by his father, a concrete poet, and his mother a painter. Farbrook recieved his MFA at the University of Colorado, where he wrote electronic music, poetry, and fiction. Becoming interested in a more immersive approach to narrative, he began using computers and the Internet as creative media. Farbrook began creating electronic installations, interactive video, and virtual reality narratives. He also developed media-reflexive live performances mixed with interactive screen projections. Farbrook's latest work explores the intersections between video, video games, and sculpture.

Farbrook exhibits both nationally and internationally. Recent venues include SIGGRAPH2010, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, La Fabrica Arte Contemporaneo in Guatemala, Museo De Arte Contemporaneo in Columbia, as well as venues in the Netherlands, China, Czech Republic, and the USA. Farbrook is presently an assistant professor of interactive media and game development at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Michael Georgetti completed his Masters of Fine Art at RMIT University in Melbourne in 2007. Using a combination of film, installation, painting and a range of found objects, Georgetti has exhibited his kinetic and ephemeral works in many commercial and artist-run spaces in Australia and abroad including West Space, Anna Pappas Gallery and the AC Institute.

Acclaimed as a "poet of ideas" by the New Yorker, Jonathon Keats is an experimental philosopher, artist, and writer based in the United States and Italy. Recently he opened the first restaurant for plants, serving gourmet sunlight to rose bushes, at the Crocker Art Museum. He has also screened travel documentaries for flora at venues including the AC Institute and the Berkeley Art Museum, exhibited extraterrestrial abstract artwork at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, and attempted to genetically engineer God in collaboration with scientists at the University of California. Exhibited internationally, his projects have been documented by PBS, Reuters, and the BBC World Service, garnering favorable attention in periodicals ranging from The Washington Post to Nature to Flash Art. He has been awarded fellowships by Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the MacNamara Foundation, and is represented by Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.

The KIT Collaboration has produced numerous interactive robotic installations for galleries and museums, sound and video projects for new-media festivals, and site-specific works for offsite locations across Europe, the Middle East, North America, Australasia, and Japan. It has also been producing internationally touring exhibitions and has been curated into group shows for galleries and biennials since its conception as a collaborative unit in 1995. Invited to undertake residencies in universities, sculpture parks, production units, to research its work, the KIT collaboration develops its projects from a wide range of situated practices.

Originally from the province of New Brunswick, Robert Saucier currently lives and works in Montréal, Canada, where he is a professor of sculpture and media art at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM). Since he began his professional practice in 1979, Saucier has produced artworks for many solo exhibitions and has been curated into group exhibitions for galleries, museums, and festivals in Canada, USA, and Europe. He is an active member of Hexagram, (Art and Technology Research and Development Centre) in Montréal, which funded portions of his recent research in the robotic arts.