Thread: a growing network
Curator: Trifocal Projects (Todd Jokl, Jessica Schwind, Joseph Smolinski)
May 13—June 24, 2006
As a society we are becoming increasingly interconnected with a variety of “networks.” Whether the concept of networks is based in the technological backbone of the internet, or a social construct where people, places, ideas, and work are connected with one another; everything from MySpace.com to iPods, text messaging and social circles are connecting us via a series of networks. The exhibition Thread: a growing network looks to open a dialogue about these interconnections and to experiment with the way in which a network finds its origins, its growth and how it inevitably defines its own limitations.
Thread is a two-fold exhibition, maintaining a physical exhibition at Artspace’s untitled(space) gallery as well as an online continuation at artspacenh.org/thread that visualizes the meshwork of connections between artists. This model of the network can relate to many fields, including, but not limited to electronics/technology, mathematics, telecommunications, media, transportation, socialization, and business. The works presented in the gallery component of Thread deal with concepts of visualizing networks, interface, communication, connection, and the movement of information, all the while creating their own associations with other works in the exhibit.
As an experiment, the curators of Thread, Trifocal projects (a network of its own, comprised of Jessica Schwind, Joseph Smolinski, and Todd Jokl), have selected artists to act as founding nodes or “seed artists” in the Thread network. These seed artists have created works displayed in the gallery exhibition and most importantly, have also been asked to establish the online virtual exhibition. For the online component of Thread, the seed artists have been instructed to invite other artists to participate in the virtual exhibition whose art and ideas make interesting associations with their own work. In turn, these invited artists will be asked to invite several more artists to join the virtual exhibition, under the same rules the seed artists were given. All the while, at artspacenh.org/thread, this growing network is visualized in an interactive manner that visitors can view to see network densities, real-time growth of the network, and artists’ work. In short, the network taking shape online is being created and steered by all of the artist contributors: essentially, each of these artist participants takes a curatorial role in the virtual exhibition. The resulting catalog of artists at artspacenh.org/thread will represent a network with a common thread of interest and invitation that will continue to grow during and beyond the duration of the gallery exhibition.
On one hand, Thread looks to pose questions and offer answers as to the nature of the networks we are all involved with. On the other hand, Thread experiments with the creation of a living network and offers visual realizations on the lifespan of the thread that runs between us.