Smoke and Mirrors: Sculpture and the Imaginary at MOCA (Jacksonville, Florida)

The Art of Technology

Contemporary art takes on different meanings depending on the artists defining it. But nothing could feel more current than the innovative works in Smoke and Mirrors: Sculpture and the Imaginary. Many of the objects employ technology such as a computers, electronics, and LED lights—media appropriate for this digital age. But the artists’ use of these tools does not overpower their aesthetic sensibilities or underlying messages.

MOCA Jacksonville is the first institution to exhibit Daniel Rozin’s Penguin Mirrors, an installation of 450 motorized stuffed animals scattered on the floor. As viewers approach the animals, the penguins respond and mirror their observers’ movements, either facing or turning away from their audience. The installation’s playful interactivity almost hides the complex geometry and computer robotics that drive it.

At first glance, Ken Matsubara’s Round Chair series appears to be simple glasses of water sitting atop stools. But the objects take on new dimension when viewers peer into the bottom of the glasses to find curious films whose technology defies explanation.

Even works that mimic nature, such as James Clar’s computer-projected Rain Under Lamppost and Patrick Jacobs’ fairytale portholes, are constructed with modern, man-made materials. MOCA Jacksonville invited Kathleen Vance to evolve her series Rogue Stream by creating a site-responsive installation based on the St. Johns River. After studying the river’s course, Vance recreates it in miniature—echoing every bend as water charts through the city and in the replica. Created to celebrate Cultural Fusion’s Year of the River, Vance constructs a living sculpture that poses questions about our relationship to nature.

Technology also breathes life into Project Atrium: Ian Johnston, the series’ first mechanical installation. In Fish Tales, shopping carts suspended from the top of the Atrium Gallery are covered in a giant bag that inflates and deflates, commenting on the uneasy marriage of consumption and waste. But it’s also a not-so-subtle reminder that our love affair with goods often leads to a landfill.

Artists who appropriate technology to create mind-blowing visual effects in three-dimensional forms—these exhibitions are just the latest examples of how MOCA Jacksonville brings you the art, artists, and ideas of our time.

Marcelle Polednik, PhD
Director and Chief Curator

Digital Graffiti (DG2015) (Alys Beach, Florida)

Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach — the world’s first projection art festival located on Scenic Highway 30A in Northwest Florida’s South Walton county — will be held over three summer evenings beginning Thursday, June 4 through Saturday, June 6. Staging Digital Graffiti in the town of Alys Beach, known for its stark white walls, gives artists a large-scale “blank” canvas to explore the intersections of art and architecture, while creating entirely new art forms. Once darkness falls, the iconic white walls glow with dozens of dazzling original art projections.

One Spark 2015 Crowdfunding Festival (Jacksonville, Florida)

One Spark is the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival, designed to connect Creators with the resources they need to bring their ideas to life. From April 7 – 12, 2015, artists, entrepreneurs and innovators in Art, Education, Health & Science, Social Good, Music, and Technology will display Projects in a 20-square-block, multi-venue gallery in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. One Spark is the community behind great ideas. It’s your chance to submit and decide on the next big thing. It’s the opportunity to get involved, be inspired, connect and collaborate.

Lights on Tampa 2015 (Tampa, Florida)

The City of Tampa announces the seven art installations chosen to be exhibited in Tampa during Lights on Tampa 2015, which will be held in and around Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa on February 20-21, 2015.

Since its inception in 2006, Lights On Tampa has, through either direct involvement or influence, created an ambiance in downtown Tampa. Over $2.5 million in private development has been invested into Tampa’s downtown for permanent light-based art work.

Artwork chosen for Lights on Tampa 2015 is diverse, engaging, and multi-disciplinary, using new technologies, music, dance, and the literary arts.

Nick Cave will be at Lights on Tampa!

Nick Cave – Chicago – Internationally recognized performance artist and sculptor Nick Cave is bringing a herd of thirty colorful life-size horses to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. HEARD is a magical, choreographed performance that brings local dancers and musicians together, some in costume and accompanied by live music and captures both light and the imagination. HEARD performances will take place at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. each night, accompanied by rayzilla’s Adjustable Music Monsters performing original music composed / arranged by Tampa-based musician, Ray “rayzilla” Villadonga, featuring excerpts from Keith Hedger’s Dervish. Kicking off the invasion on Friday, February 20th will be the Distinguished Men of Brass. and example:

See the rest of the line-up at: