Digital technology inspires two art shows at Soo Visual Arts Center

The digital age is shaking up the art world. With easy access to tools, artists have an entirely new palate to work with. The Soo Visual Arts Center will be busy this Saturday with a dual opening night reception for "Masters of the Universe: Jessica Henderson, Mark O'Brien and Casey Opstad" and "Resist Pop Fantasy II: Liquids Words_Eric Carlson," two shows in which artists are quite explicit in their use of new technology, as well as in how they were inspired by it to create their pieces.

Henderson, O'Brien, and Opstad are currently graduate students at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The theme of their exhibition is the digital era and how our current technology effects both social and physical interactions with our surroundings.

Henderson was inspired by the sense of fragmentation that ongoing distractions, such as being on the computer all day, can create. O'Brien has heightened the interactive experience of viewing his art by creating a kind of globe that is suspended from the ceiling that visitors are able to pop their heads into. From the Soo Visual Arts webpage, "The work is asking the viewer to actively engage taking ownership of the experience and 'witness the object becoming an extension of their body'." Opstads's pieces are reminiscent of pointillism, except the dots are much more precise, making for works that looks more bit-mapped than Seurat's Sunday Afternoon at La Grande Jatte.

Running concurrently is Eric Carlson's first solo exhibition, titled "Resist Pop Fantasy II:Liquids Words_Eric Carlson." Dubbed an "archival vandal," Carlson's art involves changing existing imagery by painting, drawing, creating collage, or digitally manipulating the original. Since graduating from MCAD, Carlson has had his work exhibited locally and internationally.

Both "Masters of the Universe" and "Resist Pop Fantasy II" open on Saturday, February 26 with an artists' reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Each exhibition will be on display through March 27 at Soo Visual Arts Center located at 2638 Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Piece by Eric Carlson
Piece by Eric Carlson

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