Telematic Media Arts is pleased to present Galactic Scale Inquiries into the Nature of the Cosmos, an exhibition of robotics, lasers, and sensor-based systems by San Francisco artist Kal Spelletich. In this body of work, Spelletich responds as an artist to science’s extraordinary, transformative contributions to visual culture and knowledge. Reconstructing scientific tools and experiments with light, stones, sound, metal, video, and machines, his kinetic sculptures and installations explore the sublime dimensions and durations of astronomy, geology, and physics. He highlights their explosion of experience’s everyday parameters, evoking wonder in the face of nature and raising the question of our place in the universe. At a time when the authority of science has been crudely dismissed, and critical thinking has given way to groundless conspiracy theories, Spelletich explores fundamental scientific discoveries and the weight of their hold on the world.
The project is rooted in the history of science, drawing inspiration from the ancient figures of Pythagoras and Gan De; the early modern Leonardo, Newton, and Galileo; and the underappreciated heroes of 20th-Century astronomy and astrophysics, Jocelyn Burnell and Vera Rubin, among others. At the same time, Spelletich’s work emphasizes the fact – revealed by the recent rise of misinformation — that the authority of science is not sustained by science itself, but rather depends upon a collective, social commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and the truth. His kinetic sculptures and installations are interactive. They respond to the physical presence of bodies in space, and they require the audience to engage them. In this way, the show is political, sparking minds and activating audiences by engaging them in a reflective practice that bridges art, science, and social consciousness – even philosophy – in the pursuit of a shared understanding.
Galactic Scale Inquiries into the Nature of the Cosmos will be on view from November 4th to January 28th and is free and open to the general public.