A! Magazine for the Arts

"Datafall" is part of the "Tangible" interactive exhibit at William King Museum of Art, Abingdon, Virginia.

"Datafall" is part of the "Tangible" interactive exhibit at William King Museum of Art, Abingdon, Virginia.

Tangible exhibit opens in Abingdon

January 26, 2021

“Artifacts of a different time” is one of the phrases that artist Jordan Fowler uses to describe his exhibition of sculptures, titled “Tangible: Where Art and Technology Converge.” William King Musem of Art hosts the exhibit beginning Feb. 1. “Tangible” is an immersive experience that begs the question, how is technology shaping our own perceptions of reality?

Fowler combines traditional welding techniques with contemporary computer science to create interactive sculptures out of cement, found objects, packaging Styrofoam and metal.

These sculptures are created to look as though they were found in the ruins of a dystopian society, straight from the pages of a science fiction novel. Fowler says, “I choose to use ruins as a medium to spur contemplation; to think about the present and future from a different perspective. It’s a way of abstracting materials and forms to find truths otherwise buried. In a way, contemporary science fiction does this —it tells stories that are removed from our context, allowing us to better understand predicaments we face in the present.”

Interactive moving images such as running water or shifting shadows are then projected onto the sculptures. These lifelike, projected images are coded by Fowler himself using a sequence of original computer algorithms. This combination of art and technology creates an immersive show that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for the viewer.

“Tangible” is on view Feb. 1 through May 9. Continue exploring this exhibition with one or more workshops, lectures, children’s activities, and after-hours events. A demonstration is held May 9 at 1 p.m., followed by a Tour-at-Two talk with Jordan Fowler from 2-3 p.m.