Artist Agnes Chavez Projects Diverse Origins

When Origination Point art installation opens at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos on February 13, 2016 as part of the museum’s spring exhibition schedule, the art-going public is going to experience a confluence of international influences.

Agnes Chavez
Agnes Chavez

The installation by Taos-based artist, Agnes Chavez is a collaboration with artist/programmer, Marcel Schwittlick, and sound engineer, Robert Schirmer, both of Berlin, Germany. It was born out of the artist’s two-week research stay at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and was first exhibited at the 2015 Havana Biennial in Cuba last May.

Agnes Chavez's Origination Point as installed at the Havana Biennial in Cuba, May 2015
Agnes Chavez’s Origination Point as installed at the Havana Biennial in Cuba, May 2015

The installation relies on audience reflection and participation. Monochromatic images of self-generating ‘rocks’ are projected onto a wall of hanging fabric strips creating mesmerizing movements in rhythm with an interactive soundtrack. The audio composition includes sounds from NASA’s field recordings of outer space accompanied by terrestrial nature sounds. Through an interactive sensor the visitor moves rocks in and out of a circle on the ground. This process adds layers of water, space and earth sounds designed to shift one’s perception and emotional response to the projected visuals.

Chavez explains the title: “I chose to focus on the origins we all share, our subatomic origins, which transcend our cultural and political boundaries. I explore wave-particle duality, the Higgs field, and other physics concepts through the use of abstract imagery and sounds. This series is part of the Projecting Particles Project, which explores particle physics and projection art through installations and youth workshops. Our quest is to really think about how to visualize the world through this lens and this medium.”

Artist Agnes Chavez
Agnes Chavez installing Origination Point in Havana. May 2015

The exhibit is open to the public from 10 to 5 daily, Wednesday through Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday at the Harwood Museum of Art of the University on New Mexico, located on Ledoux Street in Taos. It runs until May 1st. The artist will conduct a Projecting Particles youth workshop within the exhibit sponsored by ATLAS at CERN and the Harwood as part of a program she created called STEMartsLab@The PASEO.

The PASEO is a multimedia, experimental, participatory art festival that began in 2014. It was developed in part by Chavez, who is its co-director, along with artist Matt Thomas. The wildly successful festival will for the third year, bring Taos youth and families, an international roster of performance and installation artists, and art-viewers from across the country to the streets of Taos on September 23 and 24, 2016. The call for art entries for The PASEO 2016 is open through March 25.

STEMartsLab@ThePASEO student project piece on the walls of the Luna Chapel, August 6, 2015. Artist-instructor: Nettrice Gaskins. Photo: David Mapes

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