New media artist, physicist combine for 'Mediation' at Peeler Center Aug. 26-Oct. 14

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
"Host" is part of Claudia Esslinger's recent work with Tom Giblin. The formation of a observational railing puts the viewer above and beyond the layer of obscuring panels and the lower map-like grid of a diminutive landscape. (Courtesy photo)

"Mediation," an exhibition of work by new media artist Claudia Esslinger and physicist Tom Giblin, will open at DePauw University's Richard E. Peeler Art Center on Aug. 26 , remaining on view until Oct. 14.

Presented free of admission charge, the exhibition is open to all and presents a body of work that questions perceptions that are influenced by omnipresent media. From programmed "smart glass" to hacked and layered LED screens, these pieces provide poetic interpretations of natural wonders, as filtered by technology.

Claudia Esslinger is a visual artist working in media-based installation, video projection and collaborative performance. Her installations often invite interactivity, using new media software and sculptural components. Her single- and multi-channel video projections include those appropriate for gallery exhibitions, film festivals or as components for music or dance performances.

A common thematic thread through her projects is a poetic exploration of inequities and inconsistencies in both the human and natural worlds. By juxtaposing challenging and ironic elements within provocative aesthetic forms, she opens her work to a wide range of interpretation.

Esslinger's work often includes visceral props that embrace a performer or receive moving projections. From rawhide and pig intestine to rust-covered divining rods, from the pulsing of mechanical bellows to a notched stick measuring drops of water, her explorations are meant to elicit visceral experiences. Natural surfaces are often bracketed by clean industrial or technical elements, such as stainless-steel mesh or high-definition displays. Viewers are invited to immerse themselves, often affecting changes in various components through physical manipulations.

The projections of single-channel digital films are formatted to function as gallery installations or as film festival "shorts." Multi-channel works and video loops are more suited to gallery exhibition with multiple displays or projections, although single-channel versions of these are sometimes appropriate and available. Collaboration with composers, writers, scientists, performers and dancers have enhanced Esslinger's semi-narrative, semi-abstract video projects. Collaborations also have led to live control of video (using interactive software) or to screenings during live performances. These presentations have taken place internationally, including in Seoul and Berlin.

Esslinger has been the recipient of seven Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards and a New Forms Regional Grant (NEA). Artist's residencies include the Omora Ethnobotanical Preserve near Cape Horn (2009), Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, Calif. (2007), Singing Pictures workshop in Seoul (2000) and the Grafikwerkstaadt in Dresden, Germany (1999).

The galleries at the Peeler Art Center are open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1- 5 p.m., Sunday and are closed during university breaks and holidays.

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