Since the Industrial Revolution, artists have experimentally merged the organic with the mechanical in works that aim to amuse, horrify, edify, and illuminate. From Mary Shelly's Frankenstein to James Cameron's Terminator, from Dada's human figures implanted with machinery to Eduardo Kac's transgenic petunia, artists continue to manifest our greatest fears and fantasies about humans' growing dependence on technology. David Bowen is no exception. The Duluth-based artist primarily displays his work in exhibitions curated by NASA, robot-themed gallery shows titled "Artbots," or in the VIDA 12.0 Art and Artificial Life Competition. Bowen's first Minneapolis exhibition, "Soft Chaos," is an eerie, techno-laced installation—helium-filled Mylar blimps, affixed to microcontrollers and sensors—powered by houseflies. Talk about a hive mind, or not: The amount of activity the flies generate determines the speed and direction in which the "airships" move. Creepy or compelling depends on your point of view. Just remember: "Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug." Also in the gallery right now is "Almost Awake: New Work by Sarah Nakano." The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 13.
Nov. 13-Jan. 2, 2010