IRVINE, Calif. (September 24, 2015) -- The Donald R. and Joan F. Beall Center for Art + Technology at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts will mount “Objects of Wonder” highlighting artworks of internationally acclaimed artists working in strange and unusual mediums. The exhibition opens Saturday, October 3, 2015 with an Artist reception open to the public from 2:00PM -5:00PM and will be on exhibit through Saturday, January 23, 2016. 


Objects of Wonder, curated by David Familian and guest-curator Madeline Schwartzman, brings together a wide range of international artists whose work exhibits strange and unusual functions, engaging in conceptual phenomena like time, light, energy, evolution and changes of state. Artists deploy thermo dynamic explosions, asteroidal activity, fluid turbulence, insect behavior, natural selection and gravity to generate astonishing sculptures, drawings, paintings, videos, sound art, and installations that reveal the wonder of everyday phenomena. What is the connection between a perpetual coffee cup vortex (Antony Hall) and a coordinated array of bouncing basketballs (Pascal Sisto)? What does a virus-inspired doily (Laura Splan) have to do with the purposeful genetic engineering of new species for humankind’s zoological desires (Kathryn Fleming)? In juxtaposing a diverse group of artists who attempt to chip away at the mysterious stuff of everyday life, we are left with Objects of Wonder.

Objects of of Wonder Exhibition Artists (partial list):

Antony Hall is a UK based artist, his interdisciplinary practice involves working with science, creating kinetic artworks and installations using fluid, mechanical, electronic or biological elements. His work is divided between his own practice and the artist collective ‘Owl Project’.  A professional artist since 2001, Hall spent 3 years in resident at Manchester Universities Fluid Mechanics Lab, and a further year in the Manchester Natural History Museum in 2004. Hall continues a deeply collaborative working practice, participating and delivering workshops with artists wherever possible, as part of his work. After participating in the UKs first Biotech Art Workshop in 2005 with ‘Symbiotica’, he maintained ongoing involvement in Bioart movements including involvement with the ‘Hackteria’ network and collaborators at UCL Chemistry and Manchester Universities Psychology department. Hall has exhibited internationally at Galleries and Festivals including: Cité internationale des Arts in Paris, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, CAAC Seville, Triple Base Gallery San Francisco, International Festival of Art/Science/New Technologies in Prague, Trondheim Electronic Arts Festival, Spectropia Festival Latvia, Cornerhouse Manchester, and A-Foundation. Most recently works were commissioned for Gazelli Art House, London, Trondheim Biennale for art and technology, and a solo show at Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia and Design Days Dubai, 2013.

James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau have been collaborating on projects since their conception of the Audio Tooth Implant whilst students at the Royal College of Art in 2001.
Post RCA they were employed as research associates at Media Lab Europe (The European Partner of the MIT Media Lab) where the main focus of their research was a design-based investigation into technologically mediated human communication (2002-2005). Their ongoing approach is to develop products and services that contradict and question the ideology of contemporary design and the related conspicuous consumption of technology. Auger-Loizeau projects have been published and exhibited internationally, including MoMA, New  York,  21_21,  Tokyo, The  Science  Museum,  London,  The  National Museum of China, Beijing, and the Ars Electronica festival, Linz and are part of the permanent collection at MoMA. James Auger teaches at the Royal College of Art, Design Interactions Department and Jimmy Loizeau teaches at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

As an animator and filmmaker, Eric Dyer spent years working at a computer to produce images for the screen. Longing to “get my hands back on the work,” he decided to return to a tactile creative process. Soon he was exploring the zoetrope, an early form of animation. The toy, popular in the 19th century, consists of a slitted drum whose interior is lined with a sequence of images. When the object is set in motion, the viewer peers through the apertures in the drum and the forms appear to move. Dyer discovered he could replicate this optical effect by using the fast shutter speed of a digital video camera, and thus created films from his spinning sculptures. Dyer continues to innovate with new tools and applications and has begun to move his work off the screen and into real spaces.

Implant is an imaginary medical device that fits into a blood vessel, neuron, etc. It is super-enlarged, making the viewer feel microscopic. Diagnosed with a genetic degenerative retinal disease at the age of 13, Dyer has closely followed developments in gene therapy, including the insertion of healthy genes into the body using viruses. With Implant he plays with the paradoxical threat and promise of bleeding-edge, anatomically invasive, and potentially rampant medical practices. Viewers explore the cylindrical spinning sculpture with handheld strobe lights, discovering thousands of nanobots performing unknown tasks and a spiral of organic-synthetic gears on the tube’s interior.

Eric Dyer’s work has been exhibited internationally at events and venues such as the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Ars Electronica, the London International Animation Festival, Times Square, and the Cairo and Venice Biennales. He has been honored as a Fulbright Fellow, Sundance New Frontier Artist, Creative Capital Artist, and Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches animation at UMBC in Baltimore and is represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.

Glenn Kaino received his BFA from the University of California, Irvine, in 1993 and his MFA from the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Kaino’s work ranges across a wide range of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, video and performance. Kaino's most well-known works include Desktop Operations, a large-scale sand castle structure he debuted at the 2004 Whitney Biennial; In Revolution, a kinetic sculptural illusion encompassing a rapidly spinning Aeron chair that unveils the image of a chalice as it rotates inside its incubator; Untitled (Reverse Inverse Ninja Law), a large-scale levitating hammer sculpture made from thousands of small Zapatista dolls made through a collaboration with Zapatista activists in Chiapas; and The Burning Boards, a sculptural moment first shown at the Whitney Museum at Altria that encompasses a chess tournament played with burning candles. Kaino’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; the Museum Folkwang Essen; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City.

Kathryn Fleming is a multidisciplinary designer exploring the intersections of science, art and technology. After working as a product designer in the furniture and footwear industries, she currently seeks to combine her expertise in industrial materials and production with her deep interest in natural history and storytelling. Spanning mythology to contemporary issues in biology, she practices the art and craft of taxidermy as a method to prototype future organisms and to explore the narratives humans use to understand and influence other forms of life. By creating a picture of reality which conflates the potential of science with the possibilities of fiction, her biological models and designed interactions aim to question the cultural institutions through which humans interact with animals, and speculate about the future potential of human and animal co-evolution. Fleming holds a bachelor's degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (2005) and a master's degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art (2014).

Laura Splan’s conceptually driven work employs a variety of media including sculpture, digital media and works on paper. Her objects and images interrogate the visual manifestations of our cultural ambivalence towards the human body. Splan often uses found objects and appropriated sources to explore socially constructed perceptions of beauty and horror, order and disorder. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes including bio-materials (blood), mundane detritus (facial peel) and digital fabrication (3D-printing, computerized textiles). High tech and low tech often collide as a method of exploring intersections of Art, Science and Technology. Splan’s work is an attempt to illuminate the poetic and creative potential that lies at these intersections.

“Doilies" re-examines the lace doily as an innocuous domestic artifact that traditionally references motifs from nature. The design of each doily in the series is based on a different viral structure (HIV, SARS, Influenza, Herpes, Hepadna). The radial symmetry of the doily form is conflated with that of the corona virus structure. The project explores the “domestication” of microbial and biomedical imagery in the quotidian landscape. Bio-terrorism, health epidemics, and anti-microbial products alike have heightened our awareness of the microbial world. The project materializes the notion that an heirloom artifact can manifest the psychological heredity of cultural anxieties.

Laura Splan’s Manifest is a series of data-driven sculptural forms. Numerical data was collected from EMG (Electromyography) recordings of electrical activity produced by bodily movements. Neuromuscular activity associated with experiences of wonder (delight, confusion, disbelief) was performed as facial expressions and bodily movements (frowning, smiling, swallowing). An Arduino EMG device was used to record the electrical levels in muscles. Each activity produced unique data that was translated into a curve using a custom Processing program. The curve then became the profile for a bilaterally symmetrical 3D model. The project interrogates the potential for objects to embody human experience and to materialize the intangible.

Laura Splan’s work has been exhibited widely at such venues as the Museum of Art & Design (New York, NY), the Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, NY), the International Museum of Surgical Science (Chicago, IL), the New York Hall of Science (New York, NY), and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR). She has had solo exhibitions at the Nicolaysen Art Museum (Casper, WY) and Dose Projects Space (Brooklyn, NY). Commissioned projects for her work have included graphite and soap residue paintings (Center for Disease Control), computerized machine lace doilies (Gen Art New Media Art Exhibition), and hybrid porcelain/3D printed sculptures (Davidson College). She has been a visiting lecturer on intersections of Art, Science and Technology at Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA), Mills College (Oakland, CA), Marymount Manhattan College (New York, NY), and Observatory (Brooklyn, NY).

Pascual Sisto is a video, sculpture and installation artist living in Los Angeles. His work explores forms of representation through the use of mathematical structures, patterns, and digital interventions, while repurposing the imagery and systems from the realm of theoretical physics. Raised in Barcelona, Spain, Pascual graduated with a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and an MFA from UCLA. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011, and is a recipient of the 2012 California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship. His film and video work has been shown widely, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA) in Buenos Aires, TVE (Spanish Television) and the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. Recent exhibitions include the LA Freewaves at the Hammer Museum, Reencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin Festival, Viper Festival (Basel, Switzerland), Ego Park Gallery (Oakland, USA), MAK Center for Art and Architecture (Los Angeles, USA), Bytheway Projects (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Telic Arts Exchange (Los Angeles, USA) and Bitforms Gallery (New York, USA).

Rafael Araujo architect and artist, was born in Venezuela in 1957 and has lived in Caracas his whole life.  He originally studied music, a passion that led him to composing and eventually to a fascination with architecture where he perfected his draftsmanship. Rafael began noticing patterns within nature at age 15 while gardening in the backyard. He then started to see spirals everywhere, and had to learn geometry (and some math) in order to draw these things, impossible to achieve otherwise. He says it was a strange world in the beginning, but logical at the same time. In this field of thinking, you can say some things are unquestionably true, which made him feel good. He is now known for his illustrations that demonstrate the complexity of life through an imagined mathematical framework.

In the midst of our daily binge of emailing, Tweeting, Facebooking, app downloading and photoshopping it’s almost hard to imagine how anything was done without the help of a computer. For Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo, it’s a time he relishes. At a technology-free drafting table he deftly renders the motion and subtle mathematical brilliance of nature with a pencil, ruler and protractor. Araujo creates complex fields of three dimensional space where butterflies take flight and the logarithmic spirals of shells swirl into existence. He calls the series of work Calculation, and many of his drawings seem to channel the look and feel of illustrations found in Da Vinci’s sketchbooks. In an age when 3D programs can render a digital version of something like this in just minutes, it makes you appreciate Araujo’s remarkable skill.

Tania Blanco Artist Statement: In  my  recent  works  several  vectors  converge,  and  between  them  I  would  overshadow  my  concerns  on  the worldwide sociopolitical situation, as well as the relationship between the individual, technology and nature.  All these  subjects  are  related  to  a  conceptual  and  formal  analysis to  develop  the  visual  grounds  on  which I  then develop and express this conclusions and ideas.   I search to provide visual and conceptual keys to the explanation of the global social, economic and political mechanisms, far away from official perspectives and influenced historical data.  Media used to express these ideas can be paintings, 3d objects, video, installation, etc.   As a result, these media develop symbolic relationships that when it comes to arranging them together, they work together as a whole, establishing related chapters that belong to one connected and indivisible visual narrative.  Nevertheless, painting is the media that rules, overlaps and interweaves in all the oeuvres.

Suzanne Anker is a pioneer in Bio Art working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights.

Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally, including the JP Getty Museum, the Pera Museum in Istanbul, and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Her books include The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Visual Culture and Bioscience, co-published by University of Maryland and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. As Chair of SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the SVA Bio Art Laboratory.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy's multimedia artworks examine the genres and conventions of filmmaking, memory and language. They are well known for constructing subjective databases of existing material and making fragmentary miniature film sets with lights, video cameras, and moving sculptural elements to create live cinematic events. Recently they have begun to include autobiographical references in their projects. The McCoys' work have been widely exhibited in the US and internationally - their most recent shows include Museum of Modern Art in New York, BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank in London, Hanover Kunstverein, The Beall Center in Irvine, CA, pkm Gallery in Beijing, The San Jose Museum of Art, Palazzo della Papesse, The Addison Museum of American Art, The Nevada Museum of Art, and Artists Space in New York. Their work can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Speed Museum. They were the 2005 recipients of the Wired Rave Award for Art.

2014. The outcome of a seven-year collaboration, DOC/UNDOC features Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s performance texts and Felicia Rice’s relief prints and typography, accompanied by Jennifer González’s critical commentary. Published by Moving Parts Press, the deluxe edition is housed in a hi-tech aluminum case containing a video by Gustavo Vazquez ad Gómez-Peña, an altar, and a cabinet of curiosities. Opening the case triggers light and Zachary Watkins’ interactive sound art.

The two subtitles refer to different aspects of the project’s content:
Documentado/Undocumented ties to the performance scripts embedded in the printed sheets which draw on Gómez-Peña’s immigrant experiences and personal observations of the political, geographic, social and psychological boundaries between the United States and Mexico. The title of the video, it points to a painful dichotomy: “documentado” in Spanish implies being informed, having access to cultural forms and traditions, the histories and rituals that flourish in Mexico. Whereas the term “undocumented” in the United States implies a host of negative stereotypes, including a lack of citizenship, power, rights and knowledge.

Ars Shamánica Performática speaks of the very personal, transformative experience offered by the book and case, an invitation to “Choose an object, find a poetic way of using it. Reimagine yourself, tell a new story.” Gómez-Peña writes, “Its interactive dimension may be its main contribution to the field of experimental book art, or rather “performative book art.”

The object itself carries within a crisis of identity: What is it exactly? A stage for an intimate one-on-one performance? An unusual video screening room? A personal multi-media altar? A “vanity” used for preparing for a performance? It is all these things and it is also an original book, a performative artists’ book in search of a new format and a new audience. Each element stands by itself, but together they form an indescribable whole.

DOC/UNDOC Artist Bios:
Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Gustavo Vazquez
Jennifer A. González
Zachary James Watkins
Felicia Rice


David Familian is the Artistic Director and Curator at the Beall Center. He began working at the Beall Center in 2005 and was appointed Artistic Director and Curator in 2009. An artist and educator, he received his BFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1979 and his MFA from UCLA in 1986. For the past twenty years Familian has taught studio art and critical theory in art schools and universities including Otis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Santa Clara University, San Francisco Art Institute and U.C. Irvine. He currently teaches the Beall Center's Digital Arts Exhibition course at U.C. Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Although David began his career as a photographer, since 1990 new media has become integral to his own artistic practice and his work as a web producer and technical advisor for individual artists, museums and universities such as Walker Art Center, University of Minnesota and the Orange County Museum of Art.  David has curated and organized the majority of exhibitions at the Beall Center.  David developed the Black Box Projects Initiative at the Beall Center and meets regularly with artists as well as technologists and scientists to collaborate on new projects.

Madeline Schwartzman is a New York City writer, filmmaker and architect whose work explores human narratives and the human sensorium through social art, book writing, curating and experimental film and video making. Her book See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception (Black Dog Publishing, London, 2011) is a collection of futuristic proposals for the body and the senses. Her forthcoming book, titled See Yourself X: Expanding What it Means to be Human (Black Dog Publishing London, November 2015), looks at technology, fashion, art and design that explores the future of the human head.

Schwartzman was the curator of See Yourself Sensing at San Jose State University. She is a long term Adjunct Professor at Barnard College and a senior Part time Associate Teaching Professor at parsons: the New School for Design, where she teaches architectural design, drawing, video production and time-based media. Schwartzman has received grants and awards for her work in film, sculpture and architecture, including a residency at the American Academy in Rome. Her films and videos have screened at festivals in the US and abroad, and will be featured at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York City in December.

Her current project—365 Day Subway: Poems by New Yorkers—was recently featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section, on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, and on PBS Weekend News Hour. Since May of 2013, every time she rides the subway, she asks a stranger to write a poem.

Beall Center for Art + Technology

The Beall Center is an exhibition and research center located on the campus of the University of California, Irvine. Since its opening in 2000, the Beall Center’s exhibitions, research, and public programs have promoted new forms of creation and expression. 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 innovations in the visual arts occurring anywhere. The Beall Center promotes new forms of creative expression by: exhibiting art that uses different forms of science and technology to engage the senses; building innovative scholarly relationships and community collaborations between artists, scientists and technologists; encouraging research and development of art forms that can affect the future; and reintroducing artistic and creative thinking into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) integrated learning in K-12 to Higher Education.

The Beall Center’s curatorial focus presents a diverse range of innovative, world renowned artists, both national and international, who work with experimental and interactive media. Many of these artists have shown their works primarily within group exhibitions or have a limited number of solo exhibitions in the US. The Beall Center is committed to exhibiting these artists in a way that more fully expresses their individual body of work. We strive to present a direct connection between our programs and the larger trajectory of the history of video, installation art, kinetic and cybernetic sculpture. Our approach is not to exclusively emphasize the technological aspects of works, but to present experimental media projects that are equally strong aesthetically, conceptually and technically.

The Beall Center received its initial support from the Rockwell Corporation in honor of retired chairman Don Beall and his wife, Joan, the core idea being to merge their lifelong passions - business, engineering and the arts - in one place.  Today major support is generously provided by the Beall Family Foundation.

The Beall Center’s 2014-16 exhibitions are supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Beall Family Foundation.

UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Times Higher Education ranked UC Irvine first among U.S. universities under 50 years old and fifth worldwide. Since its founding in 1965 as one of UC Irvine’s original schools, the School of the Arts (renamed for actress Claire Trevor in 2000) has become one of the nation’s leading educators in visual and performing arts. Recently awarded "Best Arts Organization" in Orange County by the Coast Community Awards, the School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art, Dance, Drama and Music, a minor in Digital Arts, and one of the few university doctoral programs in Drama.  The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is located at 4000 Mesa Road, Irvine, CA  92617. For more information, please visit us at


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