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Saturday, January 23, 2010

ChicagoLand at Peregrine Program

I went to my first Peregrine Program opening, which happened to be only their third, to see ChicagoLand, a show that consisted of work by Daniel Lavitt. After seeing it I found it difficult to talk about this show to others, because I wasn't sure what it was to be honest. It was kind of a series of sculptures, but it was also utilizing electronics. One piece in particular was an homage to the late Roger Brown, a house sculpture was hung on the wall in which when you interacted with the door the lights in the windows went on.

The whole show apparently had a technology theme dealing with the electronics of these lights that were part of the pieces. It was set up so that you can view the work in an ascending order of the artists technological prowess. The final piece in the show, the most advanced technologically, really caught my imagination. It was part of a house sticking out of a wall, like those damn baseballs people put on their car's rear window, and the lights in the house are on until you approach it. This is where the advanced technology comes in, although not extremely advanced in the grand scheme of programming, the lights turning off as someone approaches, has a lot to say. Actually, I spoke to the artists about this and the house was a replica of his first apartment in Chicago, and because he didn't like his room mates, he would often pretend not to be home by turning off the lights as they would approach.

I left a bit unsure if it was a sculpture show, that had some electronics, or an electronics show that used sculpture as a vehicle. In the end I guess it doesn't matter but what might matter is that we have a new space in Chicago called Peregrine Program, and although it is only a 13" X 23" box the owner Edmund Chia is showing what he likes and I am always excited about new spaces showing new things.

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