2019 Art Installations

Click each title for more information

Polar bears are on the front lines of climate change: the arctic is melting and they are threatened with extinction within a few decades.

We made “Long View” to inspire people to join the conversation. A 35-foot tall polar bear made from car hoods serves as a symbol for the connection between carbon footprint and habitat loss. The artwork itself is an event. The importance of an idea like reducing emissions is conveyed by the sculpture’s monumental dimensions. It is something to see, something to think about, something to gather people together.

We believe that all life on the planet is interconnected. Whether through spiritual contemplation or through scientific observation, many people around the globe share this belief. It is time for these people to come together to create a new paradigm. “Long View” delivers a rallying cry. Whatever affects polar bears affects us all.

The car hoods encode the past and bring it to the future. We collect this material to tell a story. We take these markers representing a set of values and we use them to tell a story about a different set of values and possibly, a different future.

“Long View” is a term used to describe polar bear behavior in the wild. Polar bears stand up to look far into the distance, into the future. We believe animals have a message. The polar bear’s message to us is to take the long view. We made this artwork so people can hear the polar bear’s message and become her ally.

Thomas Ashcraft is a naturalist, artisan and scientific instrument builder and over time has established an important niche laboratory in the Rio Grande research corridor. He is also one of the most prolific videographers in the world today.
Using a homebuilt array of specially modified cameras merged with optical and radio telescopes Ashcraft captures and records rarely witnessed natural phenomena with high detail.

Odd City turns empty spaces into an imaginarium of interactivity and immersive storytelling for all ages told through art installations, motion pictures and performance. Inspired by the Odyssey by Homer, art deco, carnival, and technology, Odd City is part art exhibit, exploratorium, and role playing game.

Imagine that you found Flash Gordon’s rocket in an arroyo and cleaned it up a little. I’ve wanted to build a rocket since . . . well, since forever. I built a hang glider and learned to fly it when I was 15 without ever having seen one in person. The incredible rush of foot-launching a hang glider made of surplus aluminum with black plastic duct-taped on is pretty close to what you might get from your own personal rocket.

This project harkens back to the years immediately following World War II when just about everything seemed possible, children’s books were full of crazy crap like Mom and the kids running around on the Moon in space suits, and guys were building airplanes and gyrocopters from plans in the garage.

—Bob Davis, artist

The New Media Installation on view at Axle Contemporary for the InterPlanetary Festival is fully powered by the sun. As Axle Contemporary is a fully mobile artspace, the vehicle has been fitted with a fully off-grid photovoltaic solar array. With this, the gallery can exhibit a wide range of works without the expense, bother, or environmental impact of “plugging in.”  The power supply is particularly appropriate for The Santa Fe Institute’s InterPlanetary Festival, as the system could function in outer space, on our moon, on Mars, or anywhere that the panels can be exposed to solar rays!

Two small photovoltaic panels are mounted on aluminum rails bolted to the roof of the vehicle. The 12 volt direct current feeds to a small charge controller and from there to two deep-cycle batteries located below the driver’s seat. The power is than fed to both a 12dc led track lights in the exhibition space, and to a 1500 watt true sine wave inverter, which converts the energy to 120 volt alternating current.  This power supplies both the media player and the cathode ray tube video monitor that comprise the art installation, Annika Berry’s Nostós Fetish Machine.

The Nostós Fetish Machine, a dialogue between a megaphone and a television set. The two inanimate objects are locked in sync as text continuously appears and is read aloud. The dialogue imagines history as something that can touch, be touched, and touch itself, proposing the act of narrating history as both pleasure-seeking and violent. Fluctuating in tone from apologetic, to monotone, to accusatory, the machine implicates viewers as it recites its increasingly defiant lyrics.

Nostós Fetish Machine both draws us in and repels us with a combination of seductive, suggestive words and machine driven automation. Berry uses nostalgic technology (a megaphone and a CRT screen) to heighten our experience as we are both seduced and repelled by the warmth and coldness of the machine. NFM draws upon history, sexuality, nostalgia, and technology to explore the correlations and disconnections between our embodied humanity and our relationship to the machine.

This exhibition is part of the Santa Fe Institute’s InterPlanetary Festival, located in the Refueling Station, June 15 & 16, 12PM – 6PM.