“u r here”
by Alan Curtis, Jr.
August 23, 2012 - September 21, 2012
Opening Reception and Gallery Talk
August 23, 7 - 9 PM
Walnut Gallery continues the 2012 exhibition season with an exhibition by Gadsden artist Alan Curtis, Jr. entitled “u r here” running August 23 to September 21. An opening reception and gallery talk will be held Thursday, August 23, from 7 to 9 pm. Admission is free and open to the public, though donations are appreciated. The show is sponsored by Holiday Inn Express and Suites, The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, Downtown Gadsden Inc., and the Etowah County Board of Tourism.
“We’re at a unique point in human history where we, as a whole, have to come to grips with ‘the internet’ and the entire digital layer of reality that adds to our lives and our identities,” artist Alan Curtis, Jr. explains. “My generation is one of the last who can actually remember a world without the internet – a world where you COULDN’T instantly access almost any piece of information about a place, product, or person.” For the exhibit, entitled “u r here”, graphic designer and digital artist Alan Curtis, Jr. combines technology, video projection, and traditional drawing techniques to create an installation “built out of data, essentially, and encoded with the kinds of secrets we’re constantly sharing about ourselves online, whether we realize it or not.” “u r here” deals specifically with how data and location information is gathered, processed, and tracked both online and in the real world (via smartphones). “Outside of the obvious concerns of identity theft, there’s the whole issue of ‘what are these different companies and entities learning and collecting about us?’,” Curtis explains. “It’s not really about alarmism or paranoia – it’s about considering the strange dilemma of embracing all the wonders of technology while having faith that ‘they’ won’t do anything untoward with your information.”
“u r here” also represents a first for Walnut Gallery. “This is the first installation we’ve had that uses video and digital projection,” said Executive Director Mario Gallardo. “Alan has closed off the smaller gallery room and created a diorama using video and sculptures made from packaging-tape.” Visitors will be invited to use one of the two peep-holes on the doors of the room (originally installed by the gallery’s former residents – The Odd Fellows) to look into the scene from the outside. “The whole idea of a peep-hole is to either protect or gain access to something secret” Alan added. “It’s one of those moments where you design a piece for a space and there just happens to be this thematically perfect element there, begging you to use it.”
“u r here” will be available for viewing at Walnut Gallery during their normal business hours, Friday from 1 – 7 pm, and by appointment.