Laura Splan is a 2023-2024 Artist-in-Residence with the Beall Center for Art and Technology at UC Irvine. Through in-kind resources and a grant award, Splan’s residency will focus on research, design, and production of works for an installation that will be exhibited in Future Tense: Art, Complexity, and Predictability, which is a part of The Getty’s PST: Art x Science series, opening at the Beall Center in Fall 2024.
an exhibition and artist residency program featuring contemporary artists who utilize the concepts of complex systems hosted by UCI’s Beall Center for Art + Technology part of the Getty’s PST Art: Art & Science Collide collaboration
“Future Tense,” features both emerging and established contemporary artists who utilize the concepts of complex systems in traditional media and new technologies such as computer modeling, robotics and data visualizations. The exhibition is curated by David Familian, artistic director of the Beall Center. “‘Future Tense: Art, Complexity and Predictability’ includes international artists who examine, represent and reflect on various types of complex systems,” Familian said. “Interrogating issues such as solutions for global warming, the interworkings of cells, global warming effects on evolution, and the dynamics of an increasingly toxic social network, their works reveal both the challenges and the wonder of complex systems. The exhibition allows audiences to understand how complexity functions within the individual works, but also to actively experience and appreciate the overarching aesthetic of each system. Ultimately, it demonstrates that the way to solve the vexing problems that plague our world is through collaboration, interdisciplinarity and systems thinking. We can no longer afford to try to control nature but must learn to live within it.”
“Future Tense” explores the nexus between complex systems in contemporary art and science and how techniques of forecasting are used to model predictions in diverse sectors, from the economy or the climate to pandemics. In the early 20th century, concurrent movements in art and science—such as Surrealism and quantum dynamics—investigated randomness, indeterminacy, and unpredictability. These ideas anticipated Complex Systems Theory, which employs scientific resources such as large data sets, algorithms, and machine learning to understand and predict social problems. Since the 1960s, artists have incorporated these complex models into their practices.
“Future Tense” includes existing work by Ralf Baecker, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Julie Mehretu, Clare Rojas and Theresa Schubert, as well as new works by Newton Harrison, Chico MacMurtrie, the Lucy HG Solomon and Cesar Baio collective, Laura Splan and Gail Wight that were commissioned by the Beall Center’s Black Box Projects artist residency program. This exhibition is made possible with support from Getty through its PST Art: Art & Science Collide initiative. PST Art: Art & Science Collide, will feature exhibitions and programs exploring the intersections of art and science, both past and present.
Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented series of collaborations among institutions across Southern California. In each, organizations simultaneously present research-based exhibitions and programs that explore and illuminate a significant theme in the region’s cultural history. In Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, more than 60 cultural institutions joined forces between October 2011 and March 2012 and rewrote the history of the birth and impact of the L.A. art scene. In Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, presented from September 2017 through January 2018, more than 70 institutions collaborated on a paradigm-shifting examination of Latin American and Latinx art, seen together as a hemispheric continuum. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty.
The Beall Center is an exhibition and research center located at the University of California, Irvine, in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Since its opening in 2000, the Beall Center has promoted new forms of creation and expression by building innovative scholarly relationships and community collaborations among artists, scientists and technologists and by encouraging research and development of art forms that can affect the future. For artists, the Beall Center serves as a proving ground – a place between the artist’s studio and the art museum – and allows them to work with new technologies in their early stages of development. For visitors, the Beall Center serves as a window to the most imaginative and creative visual arts innovations. The curatorial focus is a diverse range of innovative, world-renowned artists, both national and international, who work with experimental and interactive media. The Beall Center received its initial support from the Rockwell Corp. in honor of retired chairman Don Beall and his wife, Joan – the core idea being to merge their lifelong passions of business, engineering and the arts in one place. Today major support is generously provided by the Beall Family Foundation. For more information, visit https://beallcenter.uci.edu.
As UCI’s creative engine, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts has proven itself to be a national leader in training future generations of artists and scholars who go on to inspire audiences in theaters, galleries and concert halls – as well as in entertainment and technology-related venues throughout the world. CTSA combines artistic training with a top-ranked liberal arts education. It is home to the departments of art, dance, drama and music, offering 15 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and two minors. CTSA is currently ranked No. 1 in affordable fine arts, drama/theater and music degrees by the College Affordability Guide. Courses include extensive studio, workshop and performance experiences; theoretical and historical studies; and arts and technology practices. CTSA’s nationally ranked programs begin with training but culminate in original invention. The distinguished, international faculty work across a wide variety of art forms and forge interdisciplinary partnerships with others across the campus. For more information, visit www.arts.uci.edu.
Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.