Dive into “Sensitive Contacts” and more at Telfair Museums’ PULSE Art + Technology Festival, which will return to the Jepson Center Jan. 26–28.
This year’s theme centers around “contact” and feeling the immersive art that will be presented.
“Coming out of COVID we knew people were coming into contact with each other and things again, and that’s where we came up with this being the arcing theme. One big part of PULSE in the past has been that it's been very interactive,” said Harry H. DeLorme, director of education and senior curator, Telfair Museums.
COVID-19 altered the “contact” part of the PULSE Art + Technology Festival in recent years but now organizers are looking forward to returning the festival to its full interactive scope that has been fascinating visitors with it many exhibits over the years.
This year’s featured exhibition will be “Sensitive Contacts: Interactive Art” by Scenocosme, an interactive exhibition by artist duo, Grégory Lasserre and Anaïs met den Ancxt.
Gregory Lasserre and Anais met den Ancxt are two artists who work together as a duo under the name Scenocosme. They develop the model of interactivity in their artworks by using several kinds of expression: art, technology, sounds and architecture.
“The theme for the main show is by an artist couple from France. You actually touch their work. You press into these spandex screens to trigger images. I had seen their work in New York at the Rubin Museum of Art, which kind of focuses on Himalayan art,” said DeLorme.
There are four signature interactive installations in “Sensitive Contacts,” including Metamorphy, which utilizes a touchable elastic screen that creates a vagueness between a real physical space, a virtual space materialized by the reflection of a mirror, and one generated by video projections.
“There's also a sound component to it. It's one of a couple of pieces like that that they've done. In fact, we're showing a related piece that has more images of human faces that they've recorded. As you press into the screen, you'll see a large human face on the screen, which is kind of a composite face putting you on screen,” said DeLorme.
“Sensitive Contacts” will be on display from Jan. 27 - Aug. 6.
On opening night there will be a reception and lecture by Savannah-based Artist Will Penny and Scenocosme, who will be joining virtually live from France.
The PULSE free Friday night and evening performance has been a big attraction as well. In addition to the artists, the Tybee Ballet Theatre will take the stage at 6 p.m. to perform “Solstice in Cymatics.” This presentation explores the visionary world of sound and vibrations through the lens of movement.
“This is a new dance performance with interactive visuals. I’m excited about this and the work that Britt Bacon and Kate Petit do with the ballet company. I am excited to see how they incorporate technology and projections visuals into the production in front of a packed house,” said DeLorme.
In addition to the exhibition opening lecture there is a Free Family Day, site-specific projections by Will Penny, “On Wheels,” a bicycle-powered interactive video installation, Infinity Games: Game Boy Projects by Yichen Zhou, and more.
In “Will Penny: Site Specific Projection,” Penny will present a large-scale site-specific projection at the Jepson Center during PULSE.
“It’s a really large-scale, colorful geometric piece on the walls of the Jepsen Center atrium. We're looking forward to that. Will is a noted local artist. He shows at Laney Contemporary. We have some work of his in our permit collection, but he hasn't really been featured at Pulse before,” said DeLorme
In addition to his colorful, geometric projection work, visitors may also view a work by Penny from the museum’s permanent collection in the current exhibition “Convergence” at the Jepson Center.
“On Wheels,” a bicycle-powered interactive video installation by artists Longzhe Zhang, Yue Liu, Hua Hua Liu, Lei Yu, and Ruitao Wan, was created in physical computing courses at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This intricate collaborative artwork uses a “bicycle as a means of transportation” which “carries the transformation of time and space.”
“I saw this installation at SCAD at an end of the quarter showcase last year. These four artists created this really beautiful bicycle-driven installation in which the chains of the bicycle run across a hexagonal video screen which has this sort of wormhole like animation,” said DeLorme.
There are also several activities during the day geared toward youth, with artists engaging students on the world of art and technology, including the middle school youth workshop “Video Game Character Design in Scratch” on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m.
“This is a video game coding workshop led by the Beaufort Digital Corridor. This class offers the basics of character design and coding,” said DeLorme.
Students will create their own sprites and bring them to life with animation frames, well-made coding scripts, and creative mathematics.
To view the full program schedule and learn more, visit telfair.org/pulse