The Giving Hands of Altered Destinies

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The Giving Hands of Altered Destinies
Curated by: David Kasprzak

593 Guerrero Street (at 18th street)
San Francisco, CA 94110
March 12th, 2009 - April 17th, 2009

Thu 6-9
mixed-media, installation, performance, conceptual


The Giving Hands of Altered Destinies

We are charged electrical particles that inhabit physical vessels known as our bodies. This vessel allows us to experience the tactile aspects of this world that affect our emotional and mental states. Until we surrender our physical existence the totality of our experiences will pass through the filter of our bodies.
Yet there are persistent desires to connect with a reality that is beyond this physical world while still remaining part of it. An otherness that stimulates our emotional and mental existence in ways that are beyond what our flesh can do. Is there something within our world that possesses the scientific and mystical potentiality to realize such desires?
Crystals have piezoelectric (the ability of a material to generate an electric potential) properties that are utilized in phonograph needles, microphones, sonar, inkjet printers, and motors. In such devices the crystal transforms frequencies into symmetrically divided positive and negative electrical charges.
This same idea is used in Crystal Healing. Specific crystals are placed over corresponding energy centers of the body to align the frequencies emitted by the person. These frequencies vary depending upon the mental, emotional and physical state of the person.
The Giving Hands of Altered Destinies is the realization of the crystal form as a conduit to transport the human experience to a place outside of our physical reality. I employ mysticism and scientific and personal information surrounding crystals to inform my sewn paintings and enameled wood cutouts. I have displayed these in an installation of endlessly repeating crystal lattice screen prints. A collaborative performance based on shamanic disciplines will be given to tune the frequencies of those who are willing.

Bert Bergen is a multi-disciplinary artist focused on presenting an ecstatic reality through the use of forms and images of humanity and nature. This reality is a combination of scientific, personal, historic and mystical information that is blurred and amalgamated to provide a conceptual framework.


Bert was born on Whidbey Island in Washington State and came of age in the surrounding rural areas of the Puget Sound. He has a liberal arts degree, with a focus in photography, from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and studied screen-printing at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco. He is currently based in San Francisco.
Bert’s art has been published in The Believer Magazine (McSwenney’s Publications) and Good Intentions. He has exhibited at Adobe Books (San Francisco, CA), ISE Cultural Foundation Gallery (New York, NY), ArtScape (Baltimore, MD), Skylab Gallery (Columbus OH), Post Expose (Long Island City, NY), and Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA). He has also designed artwork for bands such as Big Business, Om and Six Organs of Admittance.

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