Mesa Community College (MCC) Art Gallery gathered a collection of national artists for their new exhibit, Input/ Output. The show started Jan. 27 and is an entertaining mixture of technology and art.

“I wrote the proposal to have an all-digital call for work,” Jennifer Harris, Art Gallery Specialist said. “Work that was video, interactive, sound…There’s lots of different things going on.”

The walls of the gallery are hung with television screens displaying interesting colors and movement. Anyone who walks in will notice the light twinkling bell sound from an interactive sound piece. The small gallery still doesn’t feel full. There are a sparsity of works. But, Harris and the juror had to sift through many entries before making a final decision for show selections. The juror selected 16 artists and Harris narrowed those down.

One of those artists is Tracey Cockrell who described her work as interdisciplinary, straddling sculpture and experimental music.

“As a child, I tinkered alongside my dad in his garage workshop, learning how to repair various objects we lived with, including our car,” Cockrell said. “Tools fascinated me. I enjoyed figuring out how things were built and how they worked.” She had an interest in nature that also informs her work such as Seaweed Remembers the Sound of the Ocean. An audio of the gently slapping waves plays as the onlooker studies the wall-mounted sculpture.

The Razor’s Edge by Stefani Byrd is a single channel HD video on a vertical monitor. Byrd says audience members tend to breathe in time with the piece, some even cry.

Stefani Byrd has a wall-mounted piece titled, the Razor’s Edge. “That was a series where I was investigating digital embodiment.” Byrd said. She created the work in a studio. Visuals were shot with a sheet in front of the camera, a sheet of very cold glass placed in front of the people in the video. “When they breathe their breath magically appears on the glass. It’s shown on a television monitor. Many people have told me that it’s a very comforting experience for them to engage with that piece. Very meditative.” 

Meditation is the tool that inspires another artist featured in the exhibit, Casey Farina. According to Harris, Farina meditates to become aware of the spaces between his body, especially his fingers. His interactive installation is inspired by fingers, titled Phalanges. Spots of light move across a dark screen. Farina is also the only artist from Arizona. He is faculty at Glendale Community College and in 2017, won the Contemporary Forum Grant. 

“Art is an approach,” artist B. Colby Jennings said. “Pencils are used by people other than just artists, but it’s what the artist brings to that pencil that transforms it.  That same spirit / approach / curiosity can be applied to lots of materials and mediums.”

Input/Output is at the MCC Art Gallery from Jan. 27 to Mar. 20. A community reception for the exhibit will be held on Feb. 20 from 6-9 p.m. Admission is free.

About Author

Allison Cripe is the Social Media Editor and reporter for the Mesa Legend. She also writes songs and short stories such as this one in Across the Margin: https://acrossthemargin.com/flesh-colored-shell/. Dogs are her spirit animal(s).

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