July 14, 2024 11:05 pm

“Blended Worlds: Exploring Interplanetary Imagination Through Art and Science at Glendale’s Brand Library & Art Center”

The City of Glendale’s Library, Arts & Culture Department, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of Caltech and a Federally Funded Research and Development Center for NASA, has announced the exhibition “Blended Worlds: Experiments in Interplanetary Imagination.” This exhibition will be on view at the Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale from September 21, 2024, to January 4, 2025, as part of Getty’s regional art event, PST ART: Art & Science Collide, which explores the intersections of art and science.

Jennifer Fukutomi-Jones, the City’s Principal Arts & Culture Administrator, stated, “Glendale is a vibrant and evolving arts destination, committed to finding opportunities to present thought-provoking and innovative programs that serve our broad audiences. We’re thrilled to collaborate with JPL to present an exhibition of this scale that contributes to the greater PST ART initiative in a meaningful way, examining urgent topics and asking big questions about the confluence of art and science.”

“Blended Worlds” explores the landscape of human relationships with our ever-expanding environment through a series of art and science collaborations. The exhibition questions how empathy and connectedness can reveal new worlds and inspire innovative ways to nurture them. Featuring multimedia and cross-disciplinary works from 11 artists, the exhibition includes contributions from renowned contemporary artist Larry Bell and cyborg artist Moon Ribas, alongside David Bowen, Darel Carey, Annette Lee, Ada Limón, Bruce Mau, Viktoria Modesta, Shane Myrbeck, Raffi Joe Wartanian, and Saskia Wilson-Brown.

Laurie Leshin, director of JPL, expressed excitement about the collaboration, saying, “As a hub of innovation in Southern California, we are thrilled with this collaboration, which merges the worlds of art and science. This is a unique opportunity to share the awe-inspiring beauty of space exploration, contemplate profound questions about our vast cosmos, and highlight the creativity at the heart of JPL. Together, we hope to inspire curiosity within our local community and foster a deeper appreciation for both scientific discovery and artistic expression.”

Exhibition highlights include Larry Bell’s sculpture “Time Machine” and Moon Ribas’ drum solo performance piece “Seismic Percussion.” Bell’s “Time Machine” allows two visitors to sit on either side of a barium glass mirror that is both reflective and transparent, creating a visual merging experience that invites reflections on individuality, mutuality, identity, and presence. Ribas’ “Seismic Percussion” translates Earth’s seismic activity into a drum score and extends to include quake activity on Mars using data from NASA’s Mars InSight lander, enabling audiences to connect with the natural rhythms of both Earth and Mars.

David Bowen’s “Tele-present Wind” is another highlight, featuring 126 x/y tilting mechanical devices connected to thin grass stalks that move in response to Martian wind data collected by NASA rover and lander missions managed by JPL. In the gallery space, the stalks move in synchrony with the Martian wind, uniting Earth and Mars through dynamic interaction.

As part of PST ART, a number of public programs and community events will accompany the “Blended Worlds” gallery exhibition. These include “Blended Worlds: An Evening of Art, Theater and Science,” hosted by Reggie Watts at the Alex Theatre in Glendale on October 5, 2024; “Earth Data: The Musical,” an original musical developed by Caltech Theater Arts exploring the challenges of climate research and science as a human pursuit at Caltech’s Ramo Auditorium on November 1-3, 2024; and “PST ART: Art + Science Family Festival,” created with Edinburgh Science Festival, on November 9-11, 2024, among others. More information on events will be announced soon.

Southern California’s landmark arts event, PST ART, returns in September 2024, presenting more than 60 exhibitions from organizations across the Southern California region exploring the intersections of art and science, both past and present. PST ART is presented by Getty. For more information about PST ART: Art & Science Collide, visit pst.art.