Tomorrow a new Star Trek-themed art show opens at the Caren Golden Fine Art Gallery in New York City. The solo exhibition by artist Devorah Sperber is called "Mirror Universe." The choice of name was not just to allude to the famous episode, but also because the theme of the show is "the concept of a mirror or parallel universe."
From the announcement for the show:
For Sperber the exhibition is an opportunity to look at the relationship between popular science and art, and how they relate to larger metaphysical issues. In particular, she is interested in how consciousness and the act of seeing create the illusion of a stable, predictable, singular world.
"Captain Kirk (Beaming In) 1"
made with 25,000 plastic beads, strung onto monofilament
The works in the exhibition are large and are comprised of thousands of everyday objects like pipe cleaners, beads and thread spools all put together to create the final image. Again from the release:
the individual works, and the exhibition in general, serve to support the idea that ‘reality’ is merely an illusion created by the brain in collaboration with the human eye. The ideas at the heart of Mirror Universe recall the writings of phenomenological philosophers such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty who claimed that one’s understanding of any physical object is contingent on the observer’s psychological and physical perspective on it. He held that every object is a "mirror of all others" whereby all things reflect meaning off one another, complicating how they are perceived. Sperber echoes Merleau-Ponty’s thoughts as the latent images in her work compete with its component objects – thread spools, beads and chenille stems – to engage the viewer with a combination of poetic illusion and clarity.
"Star Trek Bridge"
5,822 spools of thread, stainless-steel ball chain and hanging apparatus, convex mirror on opposing wall
Prices range from $24,000 for some of the smaller chenille pieces to $84,000 for the largest pieces (group of Kirk, Spock and McCoy ‘beaming in’)
"Uhura and Sulu (The game has rules)
27,648 chenille stems, MDF board
"Mirror Universe" runs from March 20 – April 26 at the Caren Golden Fine Art Gallery and is one of several other exhibitions featuring Devorah Sperber’s work in and around the New York City area. There will be an opening night party from 6-8PM Thurday Night.
1,200 spools of thread, stainless-steel ball chain and hanging apparatus
More information and pictures for the exhibit at CarenGoldenFineArt.com and more on the artist at DevorahSperber.com
That’s wild. Wish I was in the Big Apple, I’d check it out.
very tedious work… I wouldn’t have the patience
Even though I am in the NYC area, I dont know about that hefty price tag!!LOL
Not for nothing! I would’nt mind going, I just cant get the time off work!! Ha HA!
Merleau-Ponty’s description seems a combination of Spinozism and Kantianism. The gallery’s efforts are excellent, but I would only caution that one shouldn’t confuse the ontological levels of reality with what the human mind perceives. What we perceive as reality does vary but the physical substrate of that reality — the objective existence of it — seems very much independent of human perception. That, at least, is my logical positivist view of it.
The fundamentals of reality are noumena, whereas our compilation of it is phenomena, to use the Kantian argot. We may shape reality as we see fit, but that shaping is limited often by the limits of our ken.
In some sense, Trek is “real,” but in a better sense, it is most real when it affects the world quite independently of how it is perceived.
not sure they’re charging enough! 5822 spools of thread in a ST image should surely bring more..
Looks like a bunch of dots forming images that used to be clear. I hope taxmoney didn’t go into this.
I wonder how long she worked on the pieces in this exhibit. What fascinating concepts! The website with pictures of the other pieces is a great link, Anthony. Her other work sounds just as thought-provoking and quality-rich. I would love to attend that exhibition and meet her.
Hat Rick, why do I crave cloves when reading your posts? I don’t even smoke!
Would anyone like to give me $84,000 so I can buy a piece? If that’s too much, I understand. I am willing to settle for the “cheap” piece for $24,000.
Seriously, I”m wondering who would buy this at those prices. It’s not original Trek stuff, like at Christie’s, which had similar prices. It’s probably not going to be big in the art world, I would think. So I’m just curious who would shell out that money. I think I’m irritated that it costs so much.
9, point taken. Kids, Just Say No to metaphysical overanalysis! I beseech you to avoid the mistakes I have made, since I am, in this regard, the voice of experience.
Hat Rick, I’ll just say it about myself. I’m definitely educated far beyond my native intelligence.
#11: At least you have survived these misadventures and are able to join us here :)
Cool! I’ll be in NY April 4-6 for ICON, perhaps I’ll try to go in and check it out (if the installation is open for public viewing at that time). No way I’m spending all that $ on it though….
wow that gallery is 2 blocks from my house ill check it out on the weekend
Cool. I’ll be in New York tomorrow. I may go check it out before I go see Young Frankenstein. Maybe I’ll send back a report.
‘Tis all too true, 12 and 13; any landing from the heights of analysis to the grim reality of academic paperwork from which one can emerge a survivor is — as they say in aviation — a good one!
Of course, I kid. Academic paperwork does have its rewards.
I do hope that the exhibit makes its way here to the Left Coast. It does seem most charming.
You guys have got to report in with details. Details, details.
This must mean that SHATNER is in the movie!
Why is the last one (of Spock) upside down?
What would tha Pre-Raphealites be painting today? Sleepy large greeny girls?
Art… the final frontier. these are the canvases of the paintbrush Enterprise. Her eternal mission, to seek out new forms, new outlets of expression, to boldly be a high-minded smug wanker where no one has been quite the same wanker before.
oh… I do kid… Data painted cuz it is the quintessential urge of man to express himself…
“What we perceive as reality does vary but the physical substrate of that reality — the objective existence of it — seems very much independent of human perception.”
And here we fall into the inescapable, horrifying paradox that makes logical positivism epistemologically worthless. Trying to use evidence of continuity and commonality to make claims about objective truth in a universe consisting of subjective ones anyway is a distraction from useful stuff like making teleporters and grilled cheese sandwiches.
And a pox on artist’s statements.
#22: “Trying to use evidence of continuity and commonality to make claims about objective truth in a universe consisting of subjective ones anyway”
And here we fall into the inescapable, horrifying paradox that makes relativism epistemologically worthless. Trying to claim that all truth is subjective is itself an objective claim and renders the entire field of thought as nonsensical as Voyager-era technobabble.
Which isn’t to say that anything that the artist said makes any rational sense, either, but claiming the universe isn’t objective fact is just the sort of silly idea that’s led modern philosophy off a (Cartesian) cliff.
Re: Original Post: I don’t “get” the art, honestly, but I wouldn’t personally mind having 1200 spools of thread making up an upside-down Spock portrait on my wall. In fact I’d be quite eager for it.
“[…]as nonsensical as Voyager-era technobabble.”
Now you’re just gettin’ _nasty._ :)
– …illusion of a stable, predictable, singular world. –
ST as inspiration for an eye- and thought-provoking art – an unusual, yet conclusive appreciation. Looks fine; I wish I could attend.
#2 you’re not an Artist. (From the real Zai)
Interesting art , it must take hours to plan out and put one of those together.
or days, weeks, months even? either way , most impressive!
Spock upside down? My kid could do that….
>>Trying to claim that all truth is subjective is itself an objective claim and renders the entire field of thought as nonsensical as Voyager-era technobabble.
ouch, that made Nomad’s main processor smoke!
Everything perceived is subjective, depending on the point of view of that which perceives. From our conceptual perspective, at least. As far as we know.
It’s like playing that insane thing called “The Game”. You win until you think of it, then you lose. However, if you make someone else think of it, they lose and you win…as long as you aren’t thinking about it. Which, you are right now. You lose. Stop thinking about it. Nope. You’ve lost again. You can not win until you’ve completely stopped thinking about The Game.
Okay, everyone, here’s a test: what was Kurosawa REALLY trying to say in “Rashomon”.
This, by the way, is where we wheat from the chaff, and the Cartesians from the followers of Satre.
I like pictures of nakes ladies.
the chenelle stems piece is amazing.
hey hat rick, watch who you’re calling a kant.
diabolik; fear not.
some of us artists who show in new york galleries are someone’s children. your kid must be quite the prodigy with color theory. click on the image and you’ll see that the inverted apparatus shows a dead-on spock in the center of the piece, which i think is refracted. cool stuff.
#20 katie g.
this should explain it:
#35… It is cool… just referring to the commonly-heard phrase among the unwashed masses when they view some modern art. :)
MaybeI’ll show up in my ‘Mugatu’ costume.
I swear there must be some kind of image-converting software that is used to tell what colors and where the pieces go. They are too close to the acual images to be only eye-interpreted art.
I wuz aboard tha USS MC Escher once… walked up a hallway and ended up in tha warpcore…
I was aboard tha USS Andy Warhol once… kept running into different monotones of meself…
I was aboard tha USS Basquiat once… uhg… best not to mention that….
I was aboard tha USS Christo once… really just the Enterprise with some green Saran-wrap all over the nacelles…
Will definitely check this out. Insane.
Great work. But…It just bugs me, how do people get away of using copyrighted material?
It is art. Like Andy Warhol, you can get away with using copyrighted material. Like mentioning real items in novels. You cannot stop expression.
And don’t EVEN mention the adventure getting around the ship aboard the USS Picasso — you walk through one corridor and, just down the corridor, is an entirely different deck.
The USS G.P. Seurat has some real issues with the integrity of the hull metal. You get too close, and, “Hmmmm…. It isn’t a solid surface?”
And how about the USS Salvador Dali? All the instruments melt and drape themselves artfully about the ship just as you’re about to use them.
Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|
20 – I believe Spock is upside-down because of the way light flips around in certain kinds of reflective things. It looks like there’s a glass thing in front of the artwork with the same picture, only right-side up. For example, this happens in people’s eyes, actually; brains flip the image so it looks like what we know to be “right-side up”. You can try it with a spoon. Look into the concave part and move it closer and, if it’s the right kind of spoon, your eye will be upside-down. Fascinating, eh? :)
47 – …and he’s backwards.
I’m liking this art made of odd things to make illusions! :)
actually you’re right, there is a easy way to break down pixel-to-shape and several programs to do it with (there was an old one called “seurat”, ha ha). even photoshop can be used. it hardly speeds up the process or calculation time though, and a certain obsessive personality is required to work at the scale she’s working at. we (a bunch of art students in the 70’s) used to soft focus pictures on large canvases using an old projector and build up mosiac on the image. it took days and barrelfulls of drugs.
the thread rolls are genius though. ready-made giant pixels in all colors! give that girl a grant!
If TPTB had thought of the method used in the third picture (of the TNG-era bridge), they’d saved 50% in set-building costs alone.
Just think! They could have used the money they would have saved for another seven years of TNG!
(Or perhaps not.)
I respect artists who create high art that I can almost understand. When they do the kinds of art that this artist has done, now THAT’S speaking my language!