For five weeks, a medium-sized crystal ball will race around Threewalls’ gallery space on a rickety track, interrupted occasionally by doorways and other endpoints where a kind stranger will have to lift it from one side of its path and set it back rolling on the other. As they lift the ball, they may hold it up to their face and see their reflection miniaturized and inverted in the glass before setting it back in motion.
The engineer of this strange wonder is the artist Andrew Barco, a talented amateur. Not an amateur artist, but an amateur engineer, speculative historian, and philosopher, who relishes in the delights of conjecture—specifically, a kind of physical manifestation of conjecture and the pleasures that attend musing.
Barco’s sculpture draws out (through the rolling of this crystal ball) themes that converge in philosophy and nearly forgotten scientific histories: enactivism, phenomenology, and pneumatics, along with a healthy dose of daydreaming (and a smidge of fear). Two dioramas complement the exhibition, illustrating speculative intellectual histories where fictive students respond to the work of Heidegger and Wittgenstein. One notably depicts a group of MIT students who design a pneumatic computer with Heidegger’s handwriting as the font.
This exhibition is accompanied by an essay by the artist Rebecca Beachy.
Andrew Barco is a Chicago-based sculptor, installation and performance artist. He grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and his interdisciplinary artwork is a reflection of his wide and varied network of friends and collaborators. He received his BA from from Wesleyan University in 2002 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. His work has been recently exhibited at the Out of Site Performance Festival (Chicago); the Rapid Pulse Performance Festival (Chicago); and the Five Seven Dell Project Space (Boston). From 2005-2006, Barco was the director of The Transom, a North Carolina gallery specializing in socially engaged exhibitions and creative programming.
Edward Breitweiser’s b/w is an audio-visual-textual feedback network. Using LEDs and light-sensitive electronic circuits, b/w is set into motion–or “excited”–by gallery visitors, stray sources of light, and other LEDs, creating an adaptive symphony of light and humming sound.
Using his previous installation cusps (2012) as a point of departure, b/w is presented as an ongoing process, constantly in transition and subject to the influence of new circumstances (both for the maker and the materials). Standing as an attempt at the extreme of the singular (a thing of things; a sum without defined parts), cusps was an opportunity to observe levels that are higher and larger than an event, an actor, an area of focus. b/w enlarges the scope of Breitweiser’s earlier work from an individual piece to a dynamic, fluid construct within a broader body of works.
Edward Breitweiser is an Illinois-based artist, musician, and writer. His works have been displayed or performed at Festival MusicAlp (Courchevel, France); Network Music Festival (Birmingham, UK); Illinois State University Galleries (Normal, IL); MobileHCI (Stockholm); the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago); Salle Cortot (Paris); the Giorgio Cini Foundation (Venice); and Illinois Weslyan University (Bloomington, IL). He is one half of the laptop-and-electronics improvisatory network band HARD R.