December 1, 2016 – January 24, 2017
First Thursday art walk December 1, 6:00 to 8:00pm

Pioneering media artist Claudia Hart presents computer animation, 3D printed sculpture, and dye transfer prints from 3D renderings. Her works deal with the role of the computer in shifting contemporary values about identity and what might be called the “natural.”

In The Swing, presented as a single-channel projection with sound by Kurt Hentschlager, a 3D game avatar swings in Mannerist slow time while her surroundings ebb and flow at a different rate, years passing in a matter of moments. Referencing the painting of the same title by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, this Mother Nature-like avatar is fleshy Rococo decadence rendered in 3D imagery. Hart’s colorful 3D printed princess dresses, meanwhile, are modeled after the dress worn by the child princess, Margaret Theresa of Spain, in the 17th century masterpiece Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez.

OpticNude began in 2013 as digital animation, and again in 2016 as dye transfer prints on taffeta silk. The works are inspired by the 1963 image by British photographer Jean Straker, known in the fifties for his erotic images of women and subsequent activism to change the censorship laws of his time. Hart recreated Straker’s image in virtual space, layering in pulsating visual patterns. The result is an attempt to imagine a digital space of disembodiment. The Rainbow print on silk was created in collaboration with Brenna Murphy.

Claudia Hart (b. 1955, New York City) is a pioneering media artist and critic whose work often takes the form of virtual 3D animations integrated into multi-channel installations, performances and sculptures. Her work aims to de-masculinze the culture of corporate technology by inserting the irrational and the personal into the Cartesian world of digital design. Hart was a 2013-14 honorary fellow at Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology and works with Transfer Gallery in New York. Hart lives in Chicago where she is a tenured professor at the School of the Art Institute, in the department of Film Video, New Media and Animation.