The Art of Tomorrow at Beall

Scientists, humanists, artists! From the philosophy of the self over artistic conceptualization to new cutting-edge technology, the current exhibit at the Beall Center for Art and Technology at UCI contains elements to satisfy both scientists and artists.
Featured artist Scott Snibbe will display his work entitled ‘Screen Series’ at the Beall Center until Dec. 13.
The exhibition illustrates how art and technology can be united to form a new medium of expression
The artwork consists of a dark hall lit up by six large, white screens which, in essence, were white lights projected onto a wall.
When visitors step in between the projector and the wall, the projections on the wall change through computer manipulation.
The six screens were entitled, ‘Compliant,’ ‘Shy,’ ‘Concentration,’ ‘Depletion,’ ‘Shadow’ and ‘Impression.’
In his work entitled Shy, Snibbe ascribed a personality to the screen itself. Thus, when visitors walked in front of the screen, the square of light cowers away.
Also, when one person stands at each end of the screen, one can ‘throw’ the square of light to each other almost like a ball.
In the piece called Shadow, when a visitor walks from one side of the screen to the other, their shadow continues to appear on the screen after they leave.
According to Snibbe, the point of the screen series was to ‘explore the countless ways that seemingly independent phenomena are, upon analysis, actually interdependent with their environments.’
In contrast to movie theaters, the body of the visitor dominates the projected image.
‘Many of my works do not function unless the viewer actively engages with them,’ Snibbe said.
Thus, the visitor becomes an actor and active participant as opposed to merely being a passive viewer.
Eleanore Stewart, director of the Beall Center referred to the work as ‘the art of tomorrow.’
She also emphasized the importance of bringing the two seemingly unrelated fields of art and technology together.
‘We’re really trying to choose work that is accessible to a broad number of audiences, so that a computer scientist can walk in and find something of interest and an artist can walk in and find something of interest,’ Stewart said.
The Beall Center follows strict criteria in deciding which artist to invite.
‘Our criteria for selection include a strong artistic component and a strong technology component, using technology in a novel way,’ Stewart said.
In her eyes, Snibbe’s work fits these guidelines perfectly.
‘We felt that Scott’s work really brought together all of these elements in a very beautiful, interesting and playful way,’ Stewart said.
According to Snibbe, although one gets a ‘real sense of engagement and pleasure from interacting with them,’ this screen series has broader implications that need to be considered.
‘Technology is affecting all of our lives in so many ways and it’s also affecting the life of the arts,’ Stewart said. ‘Artists are using technology to enlarge their ability to make their statement and to change the way they create and express what they want to say.’
Jessica Wong, a second-year undeclared arts major thought the exhibition gave a different and unique perspective on things.
‘I think it’s a really innovative idea to play with shadows and people’s perception of them,’ Wong said. ‘It gives a new, alternative reflection for us to look at ourselves outside of ourselves.’
According to Stewart, the exhibition gives students a vision of the future of art.
‘It is an opportunity for students from all across the campus really to see what the art of tomorrow might be like,’ Stewart said