For its final exhibition in Washington DC before relocating to Los Angeles, Industry presented two interactive installations by architect, artist and designer Tobias Klein: Invisible Human and Virtual Sunset. Both exhibitions bridged the divides of art, science, design and architecture and established a new direction for the gallery in an ever-diversifying world of contemporary art.
“Virtual Sunset” opened on the 9th of February, 2013, and ran until the 20th of March, 2013--the day of global equinox. The installation created a globally connected live installation, exploring the ephemeral notion of the sunset as an everlasting continuous global event and its equivalent in our ever expanding networked environment. Set between our networked digital reality and the actuality of the geographic location of the Industry Gallery in Washington DC, the work was the first crowd-sourced choreographed global sunset. By participation and uploading our snapshots of the ephemeral sublime of a sunset - the crowdsourced and mixed qualities of all our digital memories of past, photographed and life uploaded sunsets define the intensity and quality, the level of synchronisation between actual and virtual sunset. These moments are then projected in real-time onto silicone translucent tubing to create a three-dimensional ephemeral artwork that captures the transient but sublime nature of a sunset—turning what can often be a private, secluded moment into a collective, tangible experience.
For 40 days and nights - projecting globally collected and shared photos of all our private sunsets and correlating the virtual time with the actuality of the daily crescendo of the actual sunset over Washington, virtual sunset becomes an autark event - when simulation becomes simulacra. Through modulation and precise timing, the work achieves the creation of artificial time zones - synchronized web-realities with the daily returning phenomena of the sunset.
Klein’s simultaneous exhibition, “Invisible Human,” brought together contemporary medical technology with the scientific art form of crystal growing to produce a fascinating installation. For 40 days and 40 nights starting 9 February 2013, Ordinary Klein – a collaboration between Studio Tobias Klein and Ordinary Ltd – turned a data imprint of a human body, digitally “sectioned” through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), into a template onto which crystals are grown under interactive audience participation. The body sections are given shape through the crystallization processes that echo those occurring in the body as it dies. The audience was invited to influence the growth of the crystals through manipulating the temperature within the exhibition cases. Each slice was a combination of a unique human being, a unique crystallization process, and a unique installation context. Interaction via the exhibition’s website has an impact on the resulting growth patterns. As one phase turns into the next, the space continuously changes, oscillating between life and death.
Klein’s two installations were covered in a diverse array of media, from art blogs and newspapers to scientific journals and magazines—a testament to Klein’s visionary perspectives on contemporary art and design. Designboom.com covered “Virtual Sunset” from the interactive design perspective—a spectacle of crowd-sourced design, aided by digital imagery. http://www.designboom.com/art/virtual-sunset-by-tobias-klein/ Complex.com also marveled at Klein’s recreation of a global sunset—with video to match.http://www.complex.com/style/2013/02/tobias-klein-constructs-incredible-virtual-sunset-installation Fast Company as well highlighted Klein’s invitation to the viewer to assist in creating the first crowd sourced sunset, while also extolling the participatory art of “Invisible Human”: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672210/watch-an-installation-made-from-crowdsourced-sunset-pics
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671835/artists-regrow-a-human-body-with-crystal-instead-of-fleshAcross the art/design spectrum, however, artdaily.com took note of Klein’s two simultaneous installations, noting in particular that Klein’s “Invisible Human” was a rarity indeed—an exhibition that brought together contemporary medical technology with the scientific art form of crystal growing. http://artdaily.com/news/60636/Exhibition-brings-together-contemporary-medical-technology-with-the-scientific-art-form-of-crystal-growing#.VOqT08Z4gsA As the exhibitions marked the end to Industry’s DC space, the Washington City Paper also praised Klein’s experimental architecture as a “fitting match for Industry Gallery, one of D.C.'s most innovative and least-known art spaces.” http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/general/2013/02/13/todo-today-studio-tobias-klein-free-snakebite-shots/