Electric Fields

February 5 – 28, 2015
Opening reception: First Thursday, February 5 from 6:00 – 8:00pm
Artist closing talk: Saturday, February 28 at 2:00pm, light refreshments

Using new technologies to re-envision art historical narratives, Jeremy Rotsztain imagines Color Field painting through the language of computer graphics. The final works manifest as digital prints, generative animations and virtual reality. "Color Field painters wanted viewers to disappear into their large scale canvases,” Rotsztain explains. “It occurred to me that I could create an immersive experience with virtual reality, arriving at a similar goal using a whole new vocabulary."

Rotsztain uses algorithms to build his compositions, writing software that simulates painterly gestures. "The software constructs and animates ribbon-like forms, making them expand and contrast, twist, fold and morph. In computer programming, recursion refers to a function that calls upon itself. As a recursive play, these compositions are fields of color sampled from Color Field paintings.”

Portals is a series of digital prints that position viewers looking deep into fields. The forms are densely arranged in a three-dimensional grid that recedes into a synthetic gray atmosphere. The three animations in Electric Fields use virtual cameras, Cartesian perspective, parallax and atmospheric perspective to elicit different sensations of movement through infinite environments, synchronized to an ambient soundtrack composed by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Finally, Ascension (@Upfor) is a site-specific work that uses virtual reality to simulate Upfor's main exhibition space. Donning a pair of Oculus Rift goggles, viewers enter into a field of forms that slowly flow into an expanse above the gallery.

Jeremy Rotsztain (b. 1977 in Toronto, Canada) works at the intersection of software programming and painting. By incorporating computer code at the foundation of his practice, he manipulates digital media to synthesize hybrid forms. Rotsztain holds a Master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunication Program at New York University. His work has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, including at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, NY; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, CA; New York Hall of Science, NY; Grimmuseum, Germany; Festival Nouveau Cinéma de Montréal and New Forms Festival, Canada. Rotsztain lives and works in Portland, Oregon.


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