September 8 – October 18, 2014
Monday, September 8, 4:30pm:
Opening Reception and Gallery Talk
Artworks that illustrate moral values and are central to the Western art tradition. While many people can name at least some of the seven deadly sins, the corresponding seven virtues elude most of us. This exhibition, featuring paintings and sculptures by Lisa Easton and Frances Carlson, reexamines the seven deadly sins and the virtues, giving visual expression to an individual’s silent struggle to make choices.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 4:30pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Flex Room
Come practice Yogla with Her Teslaness Kat Tudor, if you want to find the secrets of the universe while practicing energy, frequency and vibration.
Friday, October 3, 4:30pm
Dove Bradshaw enlists the unpredictable effects of time, weather, erosion, and indoor and outdoor atmospheric conditions on natural, chemical, and manufactured materials. Grants received include: National Endowment for the Arts (1975); The Pollock-Krasner Award (1985); The Furthermore Grant (2003); and The National Science Foundation for Artists Grant (2006). Her work has been shown regularly in the US, Europe, Korea and Japan, and she appeared in the 6th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. She is represented in the permanent collections of many major museums including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); Museum of Modern Art (New York); The National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC); The Art Institute of Chicago; The British Museum (London); Centre Pompidou (Paris); and Marble Palace, Russian State Museum (St. Petersburg).
David Fodel is an artist, educator, writer, and curator whose work reveals the traces of systems and processes – technological and otherwise – that are overlooked. His eclectic installations, live performances, award-winning sound design and video works have been exhibited, screened, and performed internationally including: Festival ECUA-UIO (Quito, Ecuador); Future Places Festival (Porto, Portugal); Transmediale (Berlin, Germany); and the International Symposium on Electronic Art. He has been featured in Wired Magazine, and published by Media-N: The Journal of the New Media Caucus, The Experimental Television Center, and Sekans Cinema Journal. Fodel was selected for a residency in 2013 by the National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow. He teaches Live Media, Creative Computation, and Interdisciplinary Practices at the University of Colorado, Denver and co-curates the MediaLive Festival. He has an MFA in Electronic Media Arts & Design from the University of Denver.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 7pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Celeste Theatre
Author of a recently published and widely acclaimed biography of Tesla, W. Bernard Carlson’s research demystifies the legendary inventor by placing him within the cultural and technological context of his time. Carlson’s work examines Tesla’s inventions as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity. Drawing on original documents from Tesla’s private and public life, Carlson shows how he was an “idealist” inventor who sought the perfect experimental realization of a great idea or principle, and who skillfully sold his inventions to the public through mythmaking and illusion. Carlson’s biography sheds new light on Tesla’s visionary approach to invention and the business strategies behind his most important technological breakthroughs. Presented by the Innovation Institute, with support from the Economics Department’s Innovative Minds Lecture Series.
Thursday, September 18, 6pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room
A short film directed by Lance Acord (Lost in Translation, Being John Malkovich) about Tesla’s time in Colorado Springs. Produced by Kat and Bob Tudor. Starring Gregory Wagrowski as Nikola Tesla.
Thursday, September 18, 4:30pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room
During his lifetime (1856-1943) and beyond, Nikola Tesla has been portrayed as an iconoclast genius, a flamboyant showman, a failed businessman, and as the prophet of a new spiritual age. In this presentation, Dylan Nelson and Clay Haskell, Assistant Professors of Film and New Media, explore the ways in which Tesla has been depicted in film and other media venues. Their talk considers how representations of Tesla reflect changing societal values and desires, as well as aspects of the man himself.
Thursday, September 11, 4:30pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room
Until a relatively recent surge in popularity, Tesla had faded from history, overshadowed by his rival Thomas Edison’s more commercially-savvy marketing. Current portrayals of Tesla position him as an “outsider” scientist who worked in isolation; his Orthodox upbringing and subsequent spiritual proclivities have heightened this perception. In this Cabaret presentation, Jane Murphy (Colorado College Associate Professor of History), Marion Hourdequin (Colorado College Associate Professor of Philosophy) and Dan Miller (Associate Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines, discuss Tesla’s place in science history and identify his various scientific and spiritual influences.
Saturday, September 6 9am – 4pm
Downtown Colorado Springs
IDEA and Smokebrush present “Tesla at the What If…Festival”, featuring Tesla-inspired art and Tesla Toaster, a traveling pop up Tesla exhibit by Kat Tudor celebrating and honoring Tesla’s influence on her art including the creation of Aqualuz, a global event healing the earth’s waters with light, sound and soul. The What If…Festival is an annual event showcasing innovative thinking in all its many manifestations. Explore inventions and innovations in robotics, cycling, apps, art, broadcasting, 3D printing, urban farming, musical instruments, sports, and more!
Thursday, September 4, 4:30pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Main Space and IDEA Space
IDEA Cabaret is an ongoing series of public conversations between artists, community experts, and Colorado College faculty from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Audience participation is encouraged! In this inaugural Tesla-themed Cabaret, Colorado College faculty members Richard Hilt (Professor of Physics), Kathy Giuffre (Professor of Sociology) and Ted Lindeman (Professor of Chemistry) demonstrate some of Tesla’s breakthrough inventions and explore the intersections between creative vision and scientific practice.
September 4 — October 18, 2014
The website The Oatmeal recent cartoon entitled “Why Nikola Tesla was the Greatest Geek Ever” cites Tesla’s seemingly limitless imagination, his dogged perseverance in the face of obstacles (to the point of obsession), and his dedication to free access to ideas and innovations for all as evidence of his Super-Geek status.
Tesla played an important role in the electrical revolution that transformed life at the turn of the 20th century. Born to a Serbian family in Croatia, he studied engineering in Austria before immigrating to America in 1884. He arrived penniless in New York, and within a decade, rivaled Thomas Edison as a celebrity scientist. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity and contributed to the development of radio and wireless communication. Tesla’s combination of character traits – unconventional, stubborn, and humble – resulted in a wholesale downgrading of his contributions to science. Many of his myriad inventions and discoveries were dismissed or stolen. Only relatively recently has his genius been acknowledged appropriately. Tesla’s story is particularly relevant to the history of Colorado Springs, as the scientist conducted some of his most dramatic experiments with electricity in the city from 1899 to 1900.
Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy features contemporary artists whose works reflect — deliberately or not — Tesla’s maverick spirit and enduring legacy. Featured projects engage some of Tesla’s ideas, such as free-floating electrical current, self-sustaining systems/movements, electrical and fluorescent light, and magnetic fields. The exhibition will also include images and reproductions of Tesla’s inventions and excerpts from his journals, particularly those written during his time in Colorado Springs.
Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch’s immersive environments merge physics, chemistry, computer science, and philosophy, challenging and expanding the scientific picture of the world, which still cannot encompass the workings of consciousness. Their installations and performances investigate phenomena such as sonoluminescence, laser light, vacuum oscillations, and electrolysis. In fact, Tesla’s quest to understand electromagnetic propagation (light) lies at the heart of the duo’s artistic pursuit. Based on the “magnetic current” experiments of iconoclast physicist Felix Ehrenhaft (1879 – 1952), the installation Photonic Wind uses a laser beam to levitate and move diamond dust within a vacuum chamber – a phenomenon that would not seem out of place in Tesla’s lab.
A study in the relationship between stability and instability, Matthew Ostrowski’s Negative Differential Resistance is an audiovisual sculpture featuring amplified fluorescent lamps that emit light according to patterns established by a computer. Grounded in the idea of the binary — a lamp is either on or off — this work creates an optical and aural theater that ignites our own awareness. Rather than an ethereal substance, light is presented here as the tangible result of a variety of mechanical processes; the installation evokes the action of switches that control the flow of energy and the thrum of power plants that generate current. Although Tesla did not invent the fluorescent light bulb, his investigations of high-voltage radio frequency power processing techniques did result in the very first high efficiency, high frequency lighting ballasts, similar to ballasts used in fluorescent bulbs since the 1880s. The dramatically flashing bulbs in Ostrowski’s installation evoke Tesla’s theatrical demonstrations of electrically illuminated bulbs.
Michel de Brion manipulates found objects and everyday appliances to probe the various ways that energy flows and to challenge our understanding of the relationship between action and entropy. Tinkered and retooled, his often absurdist objects explore the gap between function and disfunction, and invite us to examine afresh our understanding of the difference between the two. The ironically heroic bronze sculpture Overpower features a knight wielding a sword that pulses with 10,000 volts of electricity: all to ignite a broken household light bulb. This valiant – if comically overmatched – attempt to fight off obsolescence evokes Tesla’s quest to supply free electricity to light the world.
Björn Schüelke’s kinetic sculptures bridge the gap between modern art and scientific instruments. His sculptural machines perform slow, deliberate movements that appear portentous but are often simply absurd. Mirroring Tesla’s interest in free power sources and his early work in remote control technology, the sculptures are outfitted with a variety of sensors, and draw from energy sources within the environment, such as solar and wind power, and transform that ambient energy into deliberate action. Employing elements of surveillance, robotics, interactive video and sound, the sculptures monitor or react to human presence, thus calling into question our relationship to modern technology.
The artist duo neuroTransmitter (Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere) explore the history of radio, its associated architectures, and the possibilities of radio as an interactive, discursive public space. Their project, Radio Tesla, reconstructs the scientist’s 1902 radio tower as a wall-sized line drawing made of wire. Tesla’s tower, which he designed to be the first global wireless communication system, had the potential to transmit both sound and electricity across the globe. Although not completed, the antenna was to reach 187 feet above the tower. neuroTransmitter’s “drawing” of the tower acts as its own antenna and broadcasts to radio receivers placed within the gallery. The radio is variously disrupted by viewers moving through the space, creating an aural soundscape.
For David Fodel, the power of the idea of Tesla, rather than the power of Tesla’s ideas is the most interesting and compelling. His installation Incoherence is based on Schumann Resonances – global electromagnetic resonances that are excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. This phenomenon is related to Tesla’s explorations of wireless power generation and reception in Colorado Springs. Using custom software based on calculations of spherical harmonics, in combination with the work of composer David First and geophysicist Davis Sentman, Fodel transcoded electromagnetic activity into audible and visible forms, revealing emergent layers of pattern. In its theoretical foundation, the installation comments upon Tesla’s scientific research; its ethereal presentation evokes the various pseudoscientific theories that have arisen concerning both Tesla and the Schumann Resonance phenomenon.
Echoing Tesla’s early radio experiments, Dove Bradshaw’s project Radio Rocks features randomly-received live sound, captured and transmitted by “wired” rocks. Geologically distinct, each rock contains a radio that receives frequencies from a specific zone: local; world-band; short wave; and outer space. Embedded computer programs attract random local and world-band frequencies, such as Weather Radio and live radio emissions from Jupiter. Each sculpture incorporates a third receiver that continuously picks up microwave sounds identified as echoes of the Big Bang. The installation includes an interactive artist book that allows viewers to listen to the various terrestrial and extraterrestrial sounds transmitted by the Radio Rocks.
Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy is presented in collaboration with the Colorado College Innovation Institute with support from the Dean’s Office, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, and the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund