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THE TARTAN, "Finding art on campus," Sarah Mogin, April 16, 2007

































Miller Gallery
at Carnegie Mellon University
Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Tues.-Sun., 12-6pm
Closed Mondays

Free and open to the public

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Lauren Frances Adams
Jan Descartes
David W Halsell
Ian Ingram
Gunnhildur Jonsdottir
David Tinapple


Carnegie Mellon 2007 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Apr. 13 - May 4, 2007


Apr. 24, Tue. 5-8PM: Public Tour with the Artists

About the Exhibition

John Carson, head of the School of Art, describes the exhibition as one in which you will find six fantastic artists: a quirky creator of a robotic menagerie; a farm girl asking questions of the military; an observer of traumatized adolescence; a mesmeric Icelandic storyteller; an aesthetic manipulator of sound and light; and a computer whiz fighting media overload.

Carson adds, “They are united by a refusal to take anything at face value. They will rework it and throw it back and ask us to think again.  I have been mightily impressed by these characters since starting as the new head of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon in August 2007. They have made me laugh, climb, shiver, eat pork, crawl on my belly, lie on my back, hallucinate and brood.”

Featured in this year’s exhibition are Lauren Frances Adams, Jan Descartes, David W. Halsell, Ian Ingram, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, and David Tinapple

About the Artists

Lauren Frances Adams
Pushing Sisyphus is a multimedia installation by Lauren Frances Adams concerned with issues of labor and its expression in slogans, propaganda, and the decorative arts. The installation features domestic settings cast as histrionic psychic space. The environment is loosely based on a character created by the artist who is obsessed with Soviet communist propaganda and American capitalist propaganda. In effect, the work attempts to ‘push back’ at Sisyphus, the mortal who was punished by the gods to roll a boulder up a mountain, only to have it always roll back again, for eternity.

Jan Descartes
My work uses narrative as a way to filter through my own memories of growing up in rural America, where perhaps ideas of the cultural norm were pulled from various forms of media due to physical and social isolation. In particular, I find myself very interested in questioning certain staples of culture and their effect on the psyche. Romance, sexual identity, femininity, desire, lust, violence, fear and power all play a part in the reality I am questioning and the fictions I concoct.

David W. Halsell
David W. Halsell will be exhibiting two quasi-scientific devices that detect and amplify extra-sensory stimuli in the gallery environment. One is a device that “plays” the texture of the gallery wall like a record player, the other a real-time video installation of a wave machine that is manipulated by seismic vibration and sounds above and below human hearing.

Ian Ingram
As an artist and technologist concerned with the importance of play, Ian Ingram’s work takes the form of toy-like robotic sculptures and game-oriented mechatronic installations. A toy can serve as a portal to profound experience and Ian attempts to create such toys, often with associated narrative elements that lead viewers to extrapolate their own interpretations and significances. Much of his work is implicitly an exploration of what robots can be outside the boundaries of industrial, military, and popular preconceptions. Making these machines and robots requires a synthesis of technology, choreography, animation, and a sense of awe of the inner-workings of the natural world, both its macroscopic, dynamic morphologies and the algorithmic underpinnings of the systems we call life.

Gunnhildur Jonsdottir
Gunnhildur Una Jonsdottir explores a magical reflection of reality through storytelling and drawing. In the show Findings she exhibits a video projection of computer based drawings with a voice over narration. Her stories all have a root in reality, but Gunnhildur examines how memory and history merge with fiction, when presented in this way.

David Tinapple
David Tinapple's work is provoked by the flood of images that wash over us in our media environment. He focuses in on the ways we relate to these images by re-configuring and re-aligning our perception. In this exhibition he shows videos that extract only the breathing from a presidential debate, and only the silences from television. He projects video onto specific objects, wrapping them tightly with moving images. Another device requires the viewer to be viewed, asking us to complete a circuit and enter into a chain of perceptions. Tinapple's work illuminates and confronts the subtle forces at work around us.