The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust galleries are currently boasting some of the City’s most immersive experiences. Let me start this review by being honest, I don’t think that technology integrated into artwork is always effective. But when it is, wow, it can be sexy!
The current work at Wood Street Galleries is pure stimulation. It’s a collaboration by the visual artist Noemi Schipfer and sound architect, Takami Nakamoto. Entering into either installation is like falling into another dimension. I will admit, I’ve previously done the deprivation “float” tank, looking for an out of body or euphoric experience. Both of those attempts were lifeless. But experiencing this artwork…I truly felt like I could’ve floated above space and time for eternity. The dim rooms are filled with anticipation; pulsating with changes of both light and sound landscapes. To truly experience the works, expect to spend some time with them. While even a quick in and out viewing will leave you impressed, it’ll be worth sticking around for the iterations.
A stroll to the nearby Space Gallery was just as rewarding, with the exhibition “Machine Culture,” is a feast for the senses. As soon as I arrived, I was entranced by the humming and dronelike sounds. Once again, the vibrations can immediately be felt in your chest. This exhibition is full of fascinating objects and superlative contraptions. The work by Henrik Menne begs the viewer to explore ideas of process, repetition, and sheer chance; while the piece “Muffins” by Samuel St-Aubin becomes a subtle and comical review of man and machine. Then there are the tiny pieces by local artist, Keny Marshall. A magnifying glass will ask you to investigate the capability of these objects, so intricately contrived. No matter which piece you’re most fascinated by, I imagine it will be difficult to miss the work by Zoro Feigl. Again, this work questions to the theories of choreography and chance for me, while effortlessly displaying a sense of playfulness.
And if you just haven’t seen enough yet, there’s one more place to wander, 707 Penn. Remember those miniatures by Keny Marshal? With Antumbra, Keny is proving that kinetics are alive and well within his work. Upon entering, press the green button on the right-hand side of the wall, then stand back to experience your very own solar eclipse. At the root of it, maybe that’s why we all secretly love technology; you can have what you want, whenever you desire.
If you don’t have an opportunity to catch these exhibitions before they’re gone don’t fret, the Cultural Trust Galleries rarely disappoint. New installations are installed on a rotating basis.