Interactive Robotic Sculptures by Jen Hall and Blyth Hazen

February 16 - March 15, 2002
Lamont Gallery at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter,NH

images from the installation

Jen Hall and Blyth Hazen explore the nexus of biology, technology and aesthetics through interactive robotic sculpture and digital processes. Their "Laboratory for Ephemeral Investigations," created for Phillips Exeter Academy, is a unique research center and mind-opening learning environment. Like scientists, the artists use technology for creative problem solving, but their research goals are neither rational nor practical. Instead their ephemeral investigations are aesthetic, social and poetic. They engage us in a quest to understand our relationship with our environment and to bridge the polarities of nature and technology, art and science, life and death, thinking and feeling, body and mind.

The exhibition includes interactive sculptural installations, kinetic Algebra Drawings generated digitally from genetic algorithms, and projections of the visual life of microscopic organisms. Acupuncture for Temporal Fruit introduces a sequence of suspended sterile environments in which tomatoes are pierced by acupuncture needles triggered by viewers’ presence. Instrument for Mediated Terrain is a series of miniature moss gardens that are stroked, poked and prodded by robotic tools in response to visitors’ movements.

Jen Hall, a sculptor, has been a pioneer in interactive media and art-science collaboration for over 20 years and is presently engaged in the refocusing of biological material as an art form. Blyth Hazen moves effortlessly between painting and computer animation.

Phillips Exeter Academy is a coeducational, independent preparatory school that was founded in 1781 and originated the system of instruction known as Harkness teaching in 1931. In the spirit of its charter to foster both goodness and knowledge, students come from a wide variety of geographic, economic, racial, and religious backgrounds. The diverse student body comes from approximately 44 states, the District of Columbia, and 27 foreign countries.