Last weekend I attended the opening of an exhibition at Flashpoint entitled Atmospheric Front. The show was an art installation that attempted to bridge the mechanical and the handmade and provide an immersive, atmospheric experience for visitors to the gallery.
The installation comprised of a series of hand-knit textiles suspended from the gallery ceiling and walls and linked to a series of microcontrollers. As people move through the gallery, the microcontrollers are triggered and in turn move the textiles using wooden pulleys.
The artists, Hana and Shana Kim, are two sisters from the Washington DC metro area who have an interdisciplinary approach to their work. Both of them have diverse backgrounds and and have work experience in fields that inform their work and process. I learned about the exhibition thanks to Hana, who is my coworker.
Flashpoint Gallery is a part of the Cultural DC, an organization that provides a location for contemporary artists to showcase their work in installation, new media, and performance art in the city of Washington.
The space is very industrial and sufficiently sized for a site-specific installation and definitely lent itself to the ideas and material behind the installation. The blank white walls and concrete floor were a contrasting backdrop for the lightness of the knitted textiles, and complemented the mechanical components of the pieces.
During the opening, the gallery had a few more people than expected so the pieces’ movement wasn’t as obvious, but when you did approach the pieces and saw them move, it created a unique sensation that combined organic shapes and material with technical and precise movements.
Exhibitions like Atmospheric Front challenge our conventional perceptions and experiences through a unique presentation of well-crafted pieces and thought out creative process. It was also a learning process for the artists, as the combination of handmade and mechanics was something they continued to learn about through the realization of the exhibition.
Learn more about the installation at the artists’ blog at Atmospheric Front.