Center for Design Innovation Collaborators to Open International Art Exhibit in Vienna

By Staff

Story 04 aus CARD GAME BURNING ISSUES, 2015 © Wegerer/Höller/Betz/Phillips, Bildrecht Wien
Story 04 aus CARD GAME BURNING ISSUES, 2015
© Wegerer/Höller/Betz/Phillips, Bildrecht Wien

Center for Design Innovation collaborators, Scott Betz and Richard Phillips, have partnered with Austrian artists, Barbara Höller and Michael Wegerer, in creating an exhibition that will open Nov. 12 at the Künstlerhaus Galerie in Vienna, Austria.

“LOOP – Concepts of Exchange, an international and intermedial project and exhibition” focuses on the concepts of exchange and shared communication and on topics that are notable within global and local spaces. The exhibit will remain open in Vienna until Nov. 29.

The original term, loop, refers to a closed loop like a strip of tape fastened together at the ends. In the management arena, repeating a loop is an approach to dealing with uncertainties and surprises in complex situations.

Over several months and in the virtual space, the four artists spent time in continuous communication loops investigating, experimentally and critically, through a regular exchange of questions in online media. The conversations revealed current issues of the participants that represent burning questions in art and society.

Through this communications process, the artists individually developed graphics, objects, installation and multimedia presentations that collectively became the center of the exhibition. Issues of authorship in co-creative processes, the handling of creative common goods as well as global and relevant local issues were discussed and translated into the exhibition context.

Documentation of the communication process by means of photos, sketches and audio recordings provides supporting insight into the complex conditions of the virtual question loop.

The works on display put to the test how different approaches to a subject matter can be expressed. The show will challenge the intermediate area of music, sound, fine art and new media, which ephemeral outcomes are signifying ways of communication.

LOOP is an approach to how information can be transported and how the influence of new technologies shapes information.

The cooperative also collectively developed “Card Game – Burning Issues,” which is presented as an expansive game installation that enables active participation by visitors. The content of this game forms from a cycle of 52 visualized burning questions of our time.

As part of the Vienna Art Week’s “Creative Common Goods” category, the collective will present a virtual Live Artist Talk in Vienna. During the talk, the four artists will Skype between the Künstlerhaus Gallery in Vienna and the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem and will demonstrate the “Card Game – Burning Issues” on four playing computers separated across continents.

Barbara Höller and Michael Wegerer are internationally active visual artists based in Vienna. Höller deals with procedural processes in painting and conceptual art. Wegerer’s challenge lies in the research of cultural and historical perception of text and image and the interleaving of visual media.

Scott Betz, professor of art at Winston-Salem State University, developed a relationship with Wegerer through an international conference on printmaking in Melbourne Austria in 2011. He later was invited to speak about the Center for Design Innovation and 3D printing in 2013 at the Kunstlerhaus. He worked with Wegerer and then invited Richard Phillips to collaborate on LOOP.

Phillips is currently a systems architect at the Center for Design Innovation developing digital computing and collaboration systems. With a chemistry degree from NC State University, his interests lie in intelligent installations, robotics, micro-processor computing, interactive data visualization, digital media workflows, sculpture, photography, painting and performance art.

This project was made possible in cooperation with and through the support of the Center for Design Innovation and Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem and the Künstlerhaus in Vienna.

CDI building, innovation quarter - photo courtesy of rh wilson
CDI building, innovation quarter – photo courtesy of rh wilson