For Immediate Release

A studio project curated by Meg Rotzel
with The Berwick Research Institute’s Artist in Research Program (AIR)

Located at the Smith Student Center
North Hampton, MA
Artists will be working in the space
March 1-5, 2004 11 AM to 10 PM
Closing, March 5, 7-9 PM
  Participating Artists:
John Osorio-Buck
Christy Georg
Jessica Rylan
Meg Rotzel

Meg Rotzel, The Berwick Research Institute
Meg@berwickinstitute.org, 617.767.8334
Julie Gimbrone, Smith College

During March 1-5 artist John Osorio-Buck, Christy Georg, Jessica Rylan and Meg Rotzel, all Berwick Artist in Research residency alumnae, will inhabit the primary public space in Smith College’s newly constructed Student Center for eight hours a day, producing artwork and inviting the public to be part of their processes. The works that will be shown, performed, and made on the spot by each artist are directly informed by ideas of consumption and production in the art world as well as within our contemporary society. The process of making a piece of artwork will be laid bare, exposing the artists decisions and indecision, their motivations and their reservations. These works can be viewed in a larger context outside of the gallery walls- they question value, and labor, and invite the audience to offer critique and assistance in creating artwork.

John Osorio-Buck began his project by following the assumption that a utopia can never be reached, only approached. During his stay at Smith he will build temporary structures out of readily available materials that can be found on the street. Osorio-Buck was initially inspired by seeing the South Station train depot in Boston transformed into a temporary homeless shelter during a very cold winter and the death of a homeless man who refused to leave his makeshift shelter. This experience led to an investigation of protective shelters and the possibility that they could be constructed easily and cheaply with the ubiquitous off-products of our culture, including cardboard, recyclables, and garbage. These shelters could become available for refugees, the homeless or in any instance where a quick temporary structure is needed, such as a playhouse for children. John Osorio-Buck openly invites the Smith College, and greater community, to collaborate and contribute their ideas, suggestions, and involvement to develop and disseminate a more perfect way of providing effective temporary shelters.

Christy Georg is known for her kinetic sound sculpture and her performance-based works which challenge what we think we “know” about an experience. While working at Smith she will create a sculpture and sound installation utilizing duration and distance to explore the subjective uncertainty of perception. This work is a continuation of a project developed at the Berwick Research Institute inspired by a story that Thomas Edison, then deaf, would bite the metal resonating horn from his invention the phonograph, so that he could “hear” the sounds. This action vibrated the bones in his jaw and inner ear, creating a sound inside his head. Georg will be using the exhibition space like a lab, running tests and exploring the ability of physics to create a sonorous experience akin to magic.

Jessica Ryan is a truly unique performer and instrument builder based in Boston. Her homemade analogue synthesizers, filters, amplifiers and speakers sound like few others. Her musical instruments, used for installation and performance, are built using obsolete and antique components. The sounds generated from these instruments are typically abstract, recognizable, and non-repeating, alluding to natural sounds, but ever changing from moment to moment. During her stay at Smith College she will work on building new circuits for a new sound installation that will be located within the Student Center. This sound installation will focus on the relationship of public vs. private spaces, examining the building and the way it promotes the notion of “public” and concedes to present a few intimate private spaces.

Meg Rotzel’s work takes the form of gifts, handouts, and public performances. Her work is intimate and poetic, frequently requiring a conversation between the artist and audience for its completion. During the exhibition, Rotzel will sew three household objects, each relating to topics of labor, consumption, and the environment. Each item can be ordered sewn on the spot as a conversation ensues (free of charge) or picked up later (for a price). There will also be sewing machines available for others to use for making their own object. Rotzel’s sewn works provide a topic of conversation involving threats of globalization and its affects on labor forces, human rights, and the environment by showing a method of production and the opportunity to examine the implications of our everyday consumption.

These four artists are alumnae of the Berwick Research Institute’s Artist in Research program, a residency that supports artists’ projects and stresses process over product. Within the Artist in Research Program (AIR), artists are asked to pursue an idea, technique, or interest and involve the public in this investigation. Each artist will bring that spirit to Smith’s Student Center, using the space as a location to work, perform, and directly involve an audience in art making.

Press images available upon request

The Berwick Research Institute was founded in January 2000 by eight young artists who saw the need for a non-commercial space where they could create, perform, and present experimental work. The group has since transformed part of a former whoopie pie factory into a vibrant laboratory for artists and presenters working with sound, film, robotics, conceptual art, dance, theatre, music and new media which test conventional artistic boundaries. As a part of that mission, they founded an “Artist in Research” residency program to provide emerging artists the time, space, community, and critical feedback to make and present their work. The Artist in Research program seeks to support artists involved in the early stages of projects that require investigation, dialogue, and support from an artistic community.