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Art(ists) On the Verge 4
Opening reception: May 4th, 7-11pm // Exhibition Runs: May 4 - May 26, 2013

A collaboration with Northern Lights.mn featuring new work by 5 Minnesota-based emerging new media artists.

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Participating artists: Chris Houltberg, Sarah Julson, Mad King Thomas, Asia Ward, Anthony Warnick


Listen to interviews with Houltberg, Julson, Mad King Thomas, Ward and Warnick




Northern Lights.mn presents the fourth edition of Art(ists) On the Verge (AOV4) at The Soap Factory. AOV4 is an intensive, year-long, mentor-based fellowship program co-directed by Steve Dietz and Piotr Szyhalski. The AOV4 fellows are emerging artists working experimentally at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture with a focus on network-based practices that are interactive and/or participatory.

One of the fundamental concepts defining the mission of the Art(ists) On the Verge Fellowship is the commitment to young artists whose practice often falls outside of the traditional notions of media or disciplines. The AOV4 exhibition challenges the audience not only to re-think, but also to re-work a plethora of ideas ranging from environmental awareness, to the nature of communication, transfer of knowledge, and the mutations of individual identity in the age of social media. Each of the presented projects firmly occupies a new territory emerging from unexpected combinations of processes and materials. It is these “in-between” spaces that provide an underlying theme connecting the work of 4 artists and 1 artist collaborative: Chris Houltberg, Sarah Julson, Mad King Thomas collective, Asia Ward, and Anthony Warnick.

Through the skillful blend of physical and virtual media, Houltberg’s installation illuminates the complicated relationship between people and computers, provoking the unsettling question: who is in charge? In Julson’s quiet and often playful ruminations on the nature of space and boundaries seem to effortlessly extend from the cracks in the floor to the chasms between nations. Mad King Thomas collective repurposes ubiquitous technology to question the relationship between artists and audiences. Their new “Telephone Dances” project unfolds simultaneously in intensely physical and imaginary spaces.

Utilizing large scale otherworldly forms Ward creates new landscape transforming the basement of The Soap Factory into a dream-like subterranean world. Warnick constructs a living library in which generative software confronts the sentimental notion of the temple of knowledge. His intricate network of computational and sculptural strategies produces for the audience an unexpected encounter which is both familiar and real, yet poetic and strange.

As has been the case with previous AOV exhibitions, the work presented offers the audience an immersive, interactive experience. Artists pay attention to the world and deliver the evidence of their focused investigation. Our awareness of, and ability to navigate these new spaces becomes a point of departure, a perspective, a new vantage point from which to reflect.

Northern Lights.mn is a collaborative, interactive media-oriented arts organization that focuses on artists creatively using technology, both old and new, to engender new relations between audience and artwork and more broadly between citizenry and their built environment. http://northern.lights.mn

Art(ists) On the Verge is generously supported by the Jerome Foundation.