December 9, 2021 - January 28, 2022
Opening: AHA! Night, December 9, 2021, 6-8 pm
Swain Studio, UMass Dartmouth Star Store Campus
The projections are also visible from outside, corner of Purchase and Union Streets, New Bedford, MA
Seeking the IDEAL is a collaborative project involving four artists from the US and Russia. The three genres – video game, movie, and generative art – deliver the simple idea that above all, art is a field of experimentation. One can strive for art to produce tools to feel, to reach, to think, and in games – contemplate Plato’s “Ideal” – not only as an abstract concept, but as material fact. An endless game of infinite levels of play. In practicing such a game, we not only entertain ourselves but evolve our understanding of the “ideal”.
Anton Bubnovskii is a Visiting Fulbright Scholar from Vladivostok, Russia. He finished his postgraduate research at the Russian Academy of Science with PhD in 2001. Mr. Bubnovskii is an artist, movie maker, and a professor who teaches Photography and Media Production as a Director of Student Television Studio in the School of Arts and Humanities. In 2013, Anton completed his MA in Philosophy. As an artist, he is interested in concepts of the IDEAL both in the abstract and as a practical matter. Since 2019, Anton has made a series of productions representing worlds created through the attempt to satisfy individual desires.
Anthony Fisher received his MFA from Yale University and his BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University. Nationally, he exhibits at Galerie Mourlot in New York City. His work has been reviewed in Art News, Art Critical, and Painting Perceptions. Anthony lives and paints just outside Boston in a community with other visual artists in what was once an elementary school. He describes himself as a distinct “outlier” in his family of scientists … always messy, rambunctious, and playing games with paint. He has been a university teacher for thirty years.
Polina Batog is a video editor and designer who lives in the city of Khabarovsk, Far East of Russia. Polina's core interests of exploration are the psychology of anxiety, and inner emptiness and shame’s influence on the self-realization of the individual.
Tyler Molander studies Painting, Animation & Game Arts, and Computer Game Design at the UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts. His main goal is to prove the potential of interactive art (video games) as an effective, efficient, educational tool. In particular, he explores intersections of digital and traditional art to develop alternative, fun learning experiences to challenge the mainstream promotion of a “hard work” ethic in the typical learning environment.
Colorful Desires by Anton Bubnovskii
Desire of Colors is a two-projection generative art piece designed with game engines to animate particles to create “life-like” behavior.
The space is inhabited by abstract primitives called pixels, that have their own values, beliefs, and desires. They interact with each other to realize their individuality – they move, learn, change, and move again. The world is being shaped as the result of their relationships; what they like, hate, appreciate, and ignore. Despite complete diversity, the pixels can find a commonality and build a better, more livable world in real time as you observe.
All pixels are organized into color groups and have a certain level of satisfaction with their location. But each pixel can satisfy its desires, connecting only with pixels of its own color. As a result, pixels located on the periphery are less satisfied with their position and go in search of another place. The world is crumbling despite the original position of the pixels was the most effective way of organizing communities. The world would never be better again.
Pixels have a desire to connect with other colors. If these desires are mutual, then the pixels stop to be the same, they exchange parts of themselves and thus diversify. A map of desires appears. The colors that each pixel can now communicate appear on the map. The average value of satisfaction rises as each pixel has a much better chance of finding its ideal position. It is important for a pixel not only to have a certain number of connections, but also how diverse it is in its desires. The world is becoming colorful and rich.
Funhouse by Tyler Molander
I have documented attention difficulties. If I am presented with a dense textbook, for example, I can only comprehend the content (without medication) if I force myself to focus. Constantly pushing oxygenated blood into my skull through sheer willpower can, understandably, lead to quite the headache. To prevent this self-abuse, I have become increasingly interested in developing strategies to maintain genuine interest in content often perceived as difficult or tedious. I believe that any education that produces quantifiable suffering demands better accessibility to that education.
The piece before you represents my attempt to “have fun” with my classwork. I have been trying to turn the act of studying into a game, so to speak. Although this installation is primarily an artifact of trying to entertain myself, I am also very conscious of entertaining and engaging observers.
Think of this installation like a rundown funhouse. Throw rocks at the mirrors. Fool around with the exposed wiring. The lights still work; they cast some pretty cool shadows on the walls. Simply try to “play around” with this weird, new toy that I have developed. But if your clothes get caught on a rusty scrap of metal, or you find a creepy clown down some deep, dark hole- feel free to get the hell out of there.
Don’t force yourself. Just see if you can have fun.
Liberated from Preconceptions by Anton Bubnovskii, Polina Batog, Anthony Fisher
This movie created by Anton Bubinovskii and Polina Batog documents Boston-based artist Anthony Fisher’s studio process between 2015 – 2020 during his personal journey of being unable to walk without pain. Fisher’s process involved the invention of tools and “machines” that he operated as extensions of his body to create marks. Video shot in his studio bear witness to the elaborate, cumbersome process involved in making his drawings and paintings. The turbulence of the marks communicates aspects of an internal state, especially longings to recapture joy in freedom of movement. First inspired by Leonardo’s beautiful roiling, squally drawings of deluges and tempests, Fisher summoned similar energies employing his body and drawing tool inventions.
Polina Batog: "In the process of learning and growth, people find the criteria for setting the plank of self-realization and authenticity. They look at their predecessors and find those ones they want to be equal to. The life stories of the predecessors can lead people to conclusions that form attitude towards their activities. Among them is the cognition that the results of our activities, which were given to us without physical suffering or mental anguish, don't have any value. In the film presented, you can hear the true story of the artist Anthony Fisher and how his attitude towards suffering as the most important ingredient in the cocktail of art has changed."