Skip to main content

Installation by artist/engineer Jim Campbell opens ‘02-‘03 season


August 08, 2002

Location: The Institute for Studies in the Arts’ Computing Commons Gallery, Palm Walk and Orange Street.
Date & Time: Jim Campbell’s Ambiguous Icons: Works in Low Resolution runs 
Aug. 29 to Oct. 10. The gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Opening day events on Thursday, Aug. 29, begin with an artist’s discussion from 3-4 p.m. in the Computing Commons auditorium and will be followed immediately by the exhibition opening and a reception in the gallery.
Cost: Free
More info: 480-965-9438 or http://isa.asu.edu

TEMPE, Ariz.—The Computing Commons Gallery at Arizona State University enters a new era in its decade-long history this month with the Aug. 29 opening of artist/engineer Jim Campbell’s Ambiguous Icons: Works in Low Resolution. The exhibition will be the first to be presented at the gallery under the directorship of the Institute for Studies in the Arts, an interdisciplinary research center in ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts. The ISA supports creation, research, development, presentation and education at the intersection of the arts and technology.

The gallery is located at the corner of Palm Walk and Orange Street and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Ambiguous Iconsruns through Oct. 10.

Opening day events on Thursday, Aug. 29, begin with an artist’s discussion from 3-4 p.m. in the Computing Commons auditorium and will be followed immediately by the exhibition opening and a reception in the gallery.

With Ambiguous Icons, Campbell eschews the notion that technology must be used to simulate and replicate. Instead, he uses his own custom-made hardware and software to poetically distill form and movement through digital abstraction.

Campbell pursues the notion that information and meaning are exponentially 
different, exploring assumptions that the human mind can process representation and that meaning can be expressed with minimal information. The low resolution of the works, achieved through digital-to-analog conversion, incites the viewer to search color, form and movement for meaning, and to construct and imagine the context rather than receive it passively.

Campbell has been called “a technocrat who discovered early on that he has an artist’s soul.” Trained as an electrical engineer and mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he began creating interactive art installations in 1988, just 10 years after his MIT graduation. Though he still spends one day each week in a Silicon Valley lab working as an electrical engineer and developing HDTV-related products, the San Francisco resident now devotes the majority of his time to developing hardware and software for his art. His electronic art installations have been exhibited in major museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

Campbell is no stranger to the Valley art scene. In 1999, the ASU Art Museum presented a retrospective exhibition of his work. In addition, his interactive public artwork Ruins of Light was installed at America West Arena in 1992. In fall 2002, Building Memory, another interactive work was installed in Tempe’s Westside Multi-Generational Center. The live video collage links the center’s lobby, gym, game room and senior activity center and places the users of the facility at the heart of the work.

“Jim Campbell was the first person who came to mind when our curatorial committee met to determine artists for our first year of programming for the Computing Commons Gallery,” said Sheilah Britton, research and projects manager for the ISA. “Jim established our bridge to ASU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences as an artist-in-residence in 1999 and continues to support our efforts to strengthen that connection.”

Since Campbell’s residency, the partnership between arts and engineering at ASU has expanded significantly. In September, Hari Sundaram will join the ISA as the first joint faculty appointee to the Herberger College of Fine Arts and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He will teach Signal Processing and Programming for the Arts beginning in spring 2003. In addition, he will oversee the Distributed Media and Arts Lab, which draws on ISA staff and faculty from CEAS’ departments of electrical engineering and computer science. In ’02-’03 the lab will support the research efforts of 10 graduate students.

Works for Ambiguous Icons were developed with a grant from the Montreal-based Daniel Langlois Fondation.

The Institute for Studies in the Arts is an interdisciplinary research center
in ASU’s Herberger College of Fine Arts. In collaboration with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences as well as other disciplines at ASU, the ISA supports creation, research, development, presentation and education at the intersection of the arts and technology. For more information of the ISA, visit http://isa.asu.edu.
 

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle
480-965-8795
jennifer.pringle@asu.edu