Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy



Nikola Tesla

September 4 — October 18, 2014

IDEA Space

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.

                           Featured Artists

Photonic Wind

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.

Radio Rock 2

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

Mandala of Enlightenment Concert

Jane Rigler

Jane Rigler

Mandala of Enlightenment Concert
by Jane Rigler

Thursday, June 26 at 5:30pm
at I.D.E.A. Space

 Jane Rigler will perform original musical works that intend to enrich the meditative experience of the Mandala of Enlightenment: the Dhyani Buddhas exhibit.

This 50 minute concert will explore deep listening concepts, sonically detailing the intricacies and background stories behind the traditions of the images, as well as offer new insights.

Flutist, composer, and educator Jane Rigler (Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs) has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and in ensembles in contemporary music festivals, premiering new works and compositions written especially for her. She has been granted numerous awards and residencies nation-wide for her works that center on community-building, stretching the boundaries of musical performance and audience interaction. Through her works and her manual The Vocalization of the Flute she has become known for innovations in flute performance, techniques, and musical vocabulary. Rigler’s works range from solo acoustic pieces to multi-disciplinary interactive electronic ensemble works. In 2009-10, Jane received the Japan United States Friendship Commission Fellowship and has since returned to Japan several times to premiere her sound installations and performance projects. 

Browse Jane’s website where you’ll find information about her work as a flutist, composer, educator, and organizer of events.  New audio is constantly being added to her Audio page. Roam around to find the latest information about her performances, projects and teaching activities.

Variations on “Sand”, A Poem by Jane Hilberry

Video by Patrizia Herminjard

Still of Video by Patrizia Herminjard

June 17 & 18

Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center Main Space

  • Tuesday, June 17 at 9:30pm. Special Preview Performance after the Summer Music Festival Orchestral Concert on Tickets to Orchestra Concert required. $25 available at Worner Center Desk.
  • Wednesday, June 18 at 5:30pm. Free public performance. No tickets required


This collaborative performance presents three interpretations of Jane Hilberry’s poem Sand. The project began when Hilberry, a professor English at Colorado College and award-winning poet, met composer Gabriel Globus-Hoenich at an artist residency at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada.  During the residency, Globus-Hoenich created the jazz composition that forms the nexus of the current collaboration.  Variations on “Sand” includes an expressive movement piece for two dancers created by Shawn Womack, Associate Professor of Dance at Colorado College, and a video installation created by Patrizia Herminjard, Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Dance at Colorado College.  Variations on “Sand” is presented in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Colorado College’s Summer Music Festival.

Sand” is written and read by Jane Hilberry;

The video installation was created by Patrizia Herminjard, and features dancers Anusha Kedhar and Marin Day

Choreography is by Shawn Womack, and features dancers Mary Ripper Baker and Aoi Koenig

The composition inspired by “Sand” is created by Gabriel Globus-Hoenich and features:

  • Lila Mori, Vocals
  • Jana Lee Ross, Vocals and Piano
  • Bambam Rodriguez, Bass Guitar
  • Tim Wendel, Guitar
  • Gabriel Globus-Henich, Percussion

White Tara Yoga in IDEA Space with Kat Tudor

Kat Tudor

Kat Tudor

Tuesday July 15, 4:30pm
I.D.E.A. Space
Free and open to the public

Closing Reception for the exhibition to follow

 Kat Tudor shares her wit, wisdom, and joy in this special yoga session, held in conjunction with the closing of the Mandala of Enlightenment exhibition.

Mandala Yoga with Kat Tudor

Kat Tudor

Kat Tudor

Tuesday June 10, 4:30-5:30pm
Cornerstone Arts Center
Free and open to the public

Experience the transformative power of the mandala in the special yoga class, taught in I.D.E.A. Space surrounded by paintings by Joan Bredin-Price: the Mandala of Enlightenment exhibition. 

What’s Hip Hop? A film by Community Prep School

Following a trip to the IDEA Space at Colorado College to take in the exhibit Rhythm Nations: Transnational Hip Hop In the Gallery, In the Street, and On the Stage the students of Community Prep created a video asking and answering these questions: What is Hip Hop? What does it look like? What does it sound like? Is Hip Hop more than bitches, hoes, money, and drugs? Community Prep School is an accredited alternative education campus in the Colorado Springs Region where they teach respect for each individual, cultivate authentic passions and activate purposeful plans for life. CPS is a tuition-free public charter school.


Community Prep School

“Finding the Five Buddhas in our Body and Mind” A Workshop by Za Choeje Rinpoche


Za Choeje Rinpoche

Friday, June 13, 1 – 5pm

Edith Kinney Cornerstone Arts Center, Room 302

$25 per participant, pre-registration required

To register, contact Jessica Hunter-Larsen at 719-227-8263 or

 Rinpoche’s style of conversing, with laughter and openness, generates a comfortable environment for all people. One of the most simple, yet profound, pieces of advice he often gives is “stop struggling against the struggles in life.” His unique skill of teaching, and his ability to apply these teachings into daily lives, has helped many spiritual practitioners throughout the world.

“A Buddha’s Vision, a Joyful Vision”, a lecture by Za Choeje Rinpoche


Za Choeje Rinpoche

Thursday, June 12,2014
4:30 — 6pm

Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room

Free and open to the public

Born in a Tibetan refugee camp in 1968, Rinpoche was recognized by the Dalai Lama as the 6th reincarnation of Hor Choeje Rinpoche of Eastern Tibet at the age of 16. Under the guidance of His Holiness and Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, He received extensive training in the traditional Tibetan Buddhist method of listening, contemplation, and meditation. In 2001, Rinpoche founded Emaho Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Emaho’s main mission is to assist with individuals’ spiritual development, and to support humanitarian projects. Rinpoche has spiritual centers around the world, and many  monasteries in the Tehor region of Tibet.

Dakini Wisdom: The Five Enlightened Consorts” by Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown


Judith Simmer-Brown

Friday, May 30, 2014
4:30 – 6:00pm

Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room

Free and open to the public

Associated with the Mandala of Enlightenment exhibition, Dr. Simmer-Brown’s talk will place American artist Joan Bredin-Price’s feminist interpretation of Tibetan tradition in context.

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University, and an Acharya, senior dharma teacher, in the Shambhala lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche since 2000.  She is author of Dakini’s Warm Breath:  The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism and Meditation in the Classroom. 

Mandala of Enlightenment: the Dhyani Buddhas & Tara: Goddess of Liberation

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Joan Bredin-Price

Paintings by Joan Bredin-Price

IDEA Space

May 29 – July 15, 2014

Summer Gallery Hours: Tuesday — Saturday, 1 — 6pm

“These are remarkable paintings in terms of an imaginatively beautiful and evocative artistic interpretation of Buddhist imagery.  Not only are they completely accurate in iconography, but also totally creative in their presentation that successfully offers a new ‘western’ way of interpreting the Buddhist icon tradition.” – Dr. Marylin Rhie, Buddhist Art Historian and Professor at Smith College

Joan Bredin-Price’s two series of paintings – Mandala of Enlightenment: the Dhyani Buddhas and Tara: Goddess of Liberation – explore Tibetan Buddhist spiritual symbolism through the contemplative experience of a visionary American artist, rendering traditional imagery in contemporary media.

Mandala of Enlightenment: the Dhyani Buddhas

The Dhyani Buddhas comprise the ten large mixed-media paintings of the five Buddha families used in Tibetan Buddhism as guides to spiritual transformation. The five Buddhas and their duplicate female consorts are to be studied, contemplated, and meditated upon as a method for freeing oneself from the suffering of the human condition. While iconographically accurate per the Tibetan thangka tradition, Bredin-Price’s paintings are the original work of a Western Buddhist practitioner and artist. Her versions illuminate the vision of a strong spiritual feminist by portraying the five female consorts individually and at the same scale as their male partners. The goal of Bredin-Price’s Dhyani Buddhas is to awaken one’s five-nature being through a contemplative practice free of traditional gender bias. Through this awakening, the “poisons” of hatred, ignorance, pride, desire, and jealousy transform into their antidote wisdoms: the wisdom of ultimate reality; mirror-like wisdom; equality; discrimination; and all-accomplishing wisdom.

Available for sale as a set (contact:, the ten paintings can be viewed at Bredin-Price’s final wish was to find a permanent home for The Dhyani Buddhas: a place where spiritual practitioners and the general  public may experience the celestial  Buddha nature of the five couples.

Tara: Goddess of Liberation

This section consists of five paintings that depict the female Buddha Tara. Tara is considered to be the embodiment of all of the Buddha’s activities, and is identified as the premier deity of Tibet. Introduced to Tibetan Buddhism in the early 1980s, Bredin-Price became a Green Tara practitioner, which in turn opened an artistic pathway to the creation of numerous images of Tara over a twenty-year period.

The exhibition at Colorado College is sponsored by the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund and the Department of Religion.


Joan Bredin-Price (1943-2013) grew up in an artistic family; numerous family members belonged to the Pennsylvania Impressionists movement, and their world permeated her youth. She received formal training at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned a BA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1965. Her paintings, which have mainly centered on the spiritual and the divine feminine, have been shown in the following institutions: Nacul Center Gallery (Amherst, MA); the former North Amherst Center for the Arts; Leverett Gallery (Leverett, MA); Tibet House (NY); the Jannotta Gallery at Smith College (Northampton, MA); and the Frost Library Gallery at Amherst College.

Revealing the Mandala’s True Colors: Healing by Opening into the Depths of Inclusiveness


Joan Bredin-Price

Thursday, May 29, 2014,
4:30 – 6:00 pm

IDEA Cabaret Conversation with Dr. David Gardiner and Sarah Bender, Sensei

IDEA Space
Free and open to the public

Using the exhibition Mandala of Enlightenment exhibition as inspiration, Dr. Gardiner and Ms. Bender will discuss ways that contemporary Buddhism is changing America and Americans are changing Buddhism.

Sarah Bender: A Zen Buddhist, Sarah gives talks, leads classes and retreats, and works with individual Zen students at Springs Mountain Sangha in Colorado Springs. Sarah began her practice with the Honolulu Diamond Sangha in 1979 and has studied with Joan Sutherland, Roshi, and David Weinstein, Roshi, since 1997. From 2001 to 2006 she served as the meditation instructor for SMS, and in 2006 became the sangha’s first resident teacher. Sarah was also the Cadet Chapel Buddhist Program Leader for the United States Air Force Academy for many years, and she leads occasional retreats for the Wet Mountain Sangha, in Pueblo.

David Gardiner: Dr. David Gardiner has taught Buddhism and related subjects in the Religion Department of Colorado College in Colorado Springs since 1998. He began learning Buddhism in the late 1970′s at Amherst College with Robert Thurman, and also with Tibetan lamas who lived with Dr. Thurman. This was followed by time in India and Nepal working under Tibetan teachers. He then went to the University of Virginia for his M.A. degree, where he studied Madhyamaka philosophy with Jeffrey Hopkins and Japanese Buddhism with Paul Groner. Dr. Gardiner completed his Ph.D. in 1995 at Stanford University in East Asian Religions. Alongside his work in teaching and research, he gives talks on Buddhism throughout Colorado, maintains a practice based on Tibetan traditions, and runs a non-profit educational Buddhist organization in Colorado Springs called BodhiMind Center.

Sponsored by: The Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund and the Department of Religion

IDEA Cabaret: Fierce Beats and the Floating World


IDEA Cabaret: Fierce Beats and the Floating World: iROZEALb’s Hip Hop Fusion
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 4:30pm

IDEA Space

Free and open to the public

IDEA Cabaret is an ongoing program that invites participants with diverse areas of expertise to discuss an IDEA exhibition with each other and with the audience. 

Fierce Beats and the Floating World features Colorado College faculty members Joan Ericson (Professor of Japanese) and Heidi Lewis (Assistant Professor of Feminist and Gender Studies) in conversation with Dr. Aya Louisa McDonald (Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas). Each will respond to artist iROZEALb’s fusion of traditional Japanese art and contemporary Hip Hop aesthetics. Come join the conversation!

Sponsored by the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund and the NEH Distinguished Professorship.

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