Our brains are wired to detect changes of all kinds-it is essential to our very survival. They can be extreme or subtle, and sometimes barely imperceptible. At times, our senses know instantly that there is a shift; at other times we come upon it slowly, as our senses adjust. Whether clear or vague, fast or incremental, the observation that something has changed creates a place to return to for inspection. How did we get from there to here? The color, tenor, medium, and sound can be switched, requiring us to look or listen again and again for understanding.
Our contemporary culture focuses exclusively on the sharp changes, a reflection of our era of broad sweeps and blaring oppositional politics. We have witnessed a coarsening of all aspects of our culture, and perhaps this is the right time to re-focus on the nuances of both contemporary art and public discourse.
The eight artists in “Tonal Shift” represent a broad spectrum of media in today’s visual art, and create works that take shifts in tone in different directions.
China Blue – light work, Paul Corio – painting, Irina Danilova – video, Jen Hitchings – drawing, Tony Saunders – sound, video, Audrey Stone – painting, Emma Tapley – painting, Anita Thacher – video
Co-curated by Katherine Daniels and Carol Salmanson
March 31 to April 23rd, 2017
Station Independent Projects
138 Eldridge Street, Suite 2F, NYC
“Creativity of Consciousness” is a solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA is an exhibition of my recent brain based work.
March 17-April 29, 2017
China Blue’s work is inspired by how our world is built from our sensations and perceptions. Her art works enhance the audience’s perceived world through her experimentation into brain wave monitoring and bioacoustics.
“Creativity of Consciousness” is the first exhibition of the artist’s neuroscience-based art which integrates all of her works while exploring the brain, mind, and society. This is a pioneering exhibit that allows people to simultaneously explore both neuroscience concepts and human creativity.
Creativity of Consciousness pioneers new access to cognitive and emotional domains. By using novel technology to read participants’ brainwaves, China Blue’s immersive art installations explore how we can alter our external reality through our internal mental states. It features three distinct sections: two interactive art works and a series of brainwave inspired paintings.
• “Imagining Blue” is an interactive brainwave sculpture that responds to a participant’s mind by dynamically changing in light, motion and sound. With this sculpture, users are able to observe their own current brain in action. This mesmerizing art work gives the audience previously unexplored and intimate views into the workings of their own brain.
• MindDraw is a real-time, interactive work that enables participants to create beautiful brain based images. By accessing their mental states of relaxation, meditation, focus or simple thought, participants drive the shape and speed of the projected imagery.
• “Memory Network” is a series of paintings that reflect how we may connect and hold on to our life experiences. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. Because memory is transient, these paintings propose a network as a method to connect and save our experiences. Based on the voids created by Alzheimer’s, the artist fills the empty spaces with aluminum-based paint, designing shiny globules and connects them to make stunning examples of one way to hold onto our thoughts and experiences.
Curated by Marnie Benney, Gallery Curator
About Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is central Pennsylvania’s only non-profit professional art college offering BFA degrees, certificates, credentials, and curricula that enable students of all ages to pursue art as their life’s work. The College’s educational philosophy of “Communication as Currency” develops artists able to create influence through the powerful combination of thinking, making, and communicating.China Blue’s work is featured in exhibition “EmBodied” with an interview by SciArt Magazine and a mention in Interalia magazine.
A review of China Blue’s paintings called “Memory Networks” is featured in Memory Networks, an article published in Interalia co-edited with Julia Buntaine, Director of the SciArt Center of New York and Editor-in-Chief of SciArt Magazine. The aim of this issue is to feature the work of artists and scientists that explore the brain, the nature of memory and networks.
SciArt Magazine interviews China Blue on her work featured In SciArt’s “EmBodied” exhibit. Interview.
China Blue’s “MindDraw” in EmBodied, an exhibition curated by Marnie Benney.
As humans we have an instinctual desire to expand understanding of our existence. While this desire extends outwards into the natural world and its phenomena, it also focuses inwards, towards the landscapes and mysteries of the body. We conceptualize, pontificate, and dream about what our physical form means.
Wittgenstein said, “The human body is the best picture of the soul.” As artists reimagine the meaning, possibility, aesthetic, purpose, and role of the body, the visual expression of this ‘soul’ or ‘inner self’ continues to be expressed in novel ways. This discussion becomes especially complex as the biological sciences reveal the seemingly inextricable link between the body and the inner self through neuroscience, microbiology, and genomics. Increasingly, the inner self is embedded in our layered physical forms.
By exploring everything from our bones, gross anatomy, physiology, microbiology, neurobiology, evolution, genomes, and more, how do we begin to understand ourselves in new ways? What do our bodies tell us about who we are?
– Marnie Benney, SciArt Curator
August 11, 2016
China Blue presents her interactive brain based work at NY Laser, a series of lectures and presentations on art and science projects, in support of Leonardo/ISAST’s LEAF initiative (Leonardo Education and Art Forum) an MIT affiliate.
Former LEAF Chairs Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk co-organize these presentations on behalf of the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively.Memory Networks by China Blue
March 4-Jule 25, 2016
Albert Medical School, Providence, RI
Memory Networks are paintings that explore how we connect and hold on to our life experiences. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. These paintings are based on the voids in the brain created by Alzheimer’s. The artist fills the empty spaces with aluminum based paint designing shiny globules and connects them to make stunning examples of one way to hold onto our thoughts and experiences. The works are modeled after neural nets by linking them and preserving them in beautiful figurative abstract images and propose a way to safe guarding our recollections.
Her interactive work MindDraw is a work that enables people to see their brains in action will be presented opening night. People are invited to come with their brains and try this exciting work.
The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute is dedicated to advancing the neurosciences and reducing human suffering from disorders of the nervous system through world-class research, outstanding clinical care and advanced education.
This exhibition is held in collaboration with Brain Week RI produced by Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, and sponsored by the Brown Institute for Brain Sciences and the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute. Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.
This painting is from a body of work that explores how we connect and hold on to our life experiences.
Memory is transient. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. “Memory Networks” is a project that investigates linking and preserving them in a beautiful abstract figurative web-like forms to hold them together. Made with aluminum based paint the shinny globules and lines make for stunning examples of how we can hold on to our thoughts and experiences.
China Blue has been named the Artist-in-Residence for a 2 year appointment at the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute, at the Rhode Island Hospital. At the end of the residency she will create an exhibition of works made during the residency.Artist China Blue and auditory neuroscientist Dr. Seth S. Horowitz have just finished their third session at NASA’s Vertical Gun at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, recording hyper-velocity impacts in the giant near-vacuum chamber that lets planetary geologists simulate and understand the forces that have shaped terrains on earth and throughout the solar system.
While busy enough with their individual fields, Seth and China Blue have worked collaboratively for over a decade, merging science and art through the overlap of their mutual love of sound. During a conversation about NASA projects focusing on the type of high velocity impacts simulated in the Vertical Gun, China Blue said “I wonder what the impacts in the chamber sound like.” That simply posed statement identified acoustics as a previously ignored area of research over the 50 years of research at the gun, said one of the Vertical Gun’s principal investigators. And, that was the beginning of their research project that continues to today.
In the beginning, the idea was to first find out if the sound could be picked up in the massive steel chamber, especially given that many of the experiments were run at pressure levels closer to those found on Mars than on Earth, reducing the efficacy of most normal microphones. The first experiment would require testing a large array of recording devices to find out what the recordings would sound like and what type of gear could survive near outer space levels of vacuum. They used geophones, low frequency seismic recording devices that are used to detect earthquakes, ultrasonic microphones that are used to detect gas leaks (and bats), piezoelectric microphones which are a general all around recording device as well as normal pressure zone microphones used to record music. They first wanted to see if the microphones would survive the impacts and if so what frequencies would be measured. The results were much better than expected. While the low pressure level reduced the amplitude of the sound at the air-borne recording devices, and the ultrasonic microphone picked up nothing at all, the geophones were particularly sensitive to picking up the vibration transmitted from the projectiles’ impacts. The geophones were successful in documenting a full range of sounds from the vibrations that traveled down the gun barrel, through the dolomite in the pit and those that ricochet off of the walls of the five foot diameter chamber. In addition, most of the microphones successfully survived the experiments, with only the two pressure zone microphones \which were not happy after being struck by ejecta fragments moving at several times the speed of sound. As a side benefit, the microphones picked up 60 Hz noise which was helpful in finding a grounding issue in the chamber.
The second trip was in the summer of 2014 when we worked with a graduate student from Brown University who was measuring the atmospheric shock waves produced by impacts as a means of modeling forces that helped form features on Mars. On that trip, we simplified our process by not using the ultrasonic detectors and refined the method of attachment of the geophones. (We were thrilled to find out that duct tape is as critical in NASA research as it is at home). The data from that session helped us determine the way the impact-induced vibration propagated through the ground (in this case, crushed dolomite) and gave indications about how the shock wave could be differentiated from impact-driven winds that travel behind it.
The most recent trip let us build on our previous experience and refine both our measurements of surface wave propagation and rapid changes in atmospheric pressure in coordination with the principal investigator and graduate student again. This time we were able to compare our geophone and atmospheric recordings to her instantaneous pressure data to give precise measurements of the timing of expansion of shock and pressure waves after an impact. While this may sound like a very focused finding of interest only to planetary geologists, it is actually critically important for our understanding of how our Earth was formed and how landscapes emerge and change over time, but also for predicting the results of possible asteroid strikes here on Earth. This information is critical for developing ways to prevent the widespread damage that could occur if another large asteroid approaches Earth. We are excited to say that our experiments also showed that recording of sound and vibration can be used to gather data as important as the images captured from the 50,000 frame per second cameras (which are much more expensive). When attended to, sound provides critical information about how the world around us behaves, whether by listening traffic noise, or by listening to the shattering impacts at meteoric speed.Conference:
China Blue, Co-Chair Person with Margaret Schedel, Stony Brook University at:
College Arts Association, 103rd Annual Conference will be held at the Hilton New York, on February 13, 2015.
Session Title: Four Perspectives on Sound Art: History, Practice, Structure & Perception
Participants: Janet Kraynak, New School, NY; Charles Eppley, Stony Brook University; Ken Ueno, University of California Berkeley; Seth Cluett, Ramapo College of New Jersey; Michael Maizels, Davis Museum at Wellsley College; Dr. Melissa Warak University of Texas at El Paso.
Event: MACT Salon 1: Sound Art Presentation
When: Saturday, February 14th, 8:00pm
Where: Stony Brook University-Manhattan, 387 Park Avenue South on the third floor, between 27th and 28th Streets
Speakers: China Blue, Seth Cluett, Margaret Schedel and Ken Ueno.
This MACT Salon inaugurates a monthly event series presented by Stony Brook University on the topics of media arts, culture and technology.
MACT Graduate Certificate Program in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology at Stony Brook University, offers graduate students an interdisciplinary grounding in the historical and theoretical study of media, art, culture, and technology. It is designed to complement a graduate student’s primary degree by supporting research that traverses traditional academic methods and objects of inquiry. Combining faculty with diverse expertise in media, art, culture, and technology, the MACT certificate supports work at the dynamic intersections of these evolving fields.