Tag Archives: Rebeca Méndez

Change/Makers video: Crossing borders and disciplines with Graphic Design and MDP alum Rebeca Méndez

Rebeca Méndez holds Art Center degrees in two different disciplines, Graphic Design (BFA, ’84) and Media Design (MFA, ’97). Her life and work stand as a testament to defying the conventions of those fields by expanding the definition of what it means to be a working artist and designer. She has forged her own path through punishingly uncharted terrain that’s taken her to the arctic tundras of the earth’s poles, as well as many untamed territories.

For these reasons among many others, Méndez was chosen to be the subject of the latest installment in the Change/Makers series of video profiles, which explores the ideas and passions informing the creative practices of some of Art Center’s most innovative and inspiring alumni.

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Science and Art collide in the REALSPACE exhibition at Art Center’s Williamson Gallery

Dan Goods andDavid Delgado Refraction, 2014 Theater light, water, custom electronics 19 x 25 ft., dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists.

Dan Goods and David Delgado; Refraction, 2014; Theater light, water, custom electronics; Courtesy of the artists.

The painter Willem de Kooning once said that the idea of space “is given to the artist to change if he can.” And of the real, Robert Rauschenberg opined that a painting “is more like the real world if it’s made out of the real world.” Space in painting is measured on a scale that begins with deep illusion depicting what appears beyond the window of the canvas, and moves successively forward to tangible real tactility in front of the canvas.

Where an artist chooses to work on that illusion-to-reality scale can have meaning in and of itself. And the modern history of those choices can be viewed as a kind of archeology of existential change. The exhibition REALSPACE, opening October 4 at Art Center College of Design’s Williamson Gallery, is meant to reflect on how science intersects with that history. Poeticized by artists and studied by scientists throughout human history, the intractable reality of the natural world is examined by contemporary art and artifacts included in REALSPACE.

REALSPACE will be installed in the Williamson Gallery October 4, 2014 through January 18, 2015. The public is invited to an opening reception on Friday, October 3, from 7 to 10pm. Artists in the exhibition include Adam W. Brown and Robert Root-Bernstein, James Griffith, Dan Goods, David Delgado, Santiago Lombeyda, Rebeca Méndez and Jennifer Steinkamp. Artifacts and writings by James Ferguson (1710-1776), William Herschel (1738-1822), and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), on loan from The Huntington Library, are also featured in the exhibition that combines works from contemporary art and science.  At its opening, the exhibition will be accompanied by a 20-page free booklet and, eventually, a 40-page catalog.

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Glow shines a light on cutting edge artist and designer Rebeca Mendez

Rebeca Mendez brings her film, CircumSolar, Migration 1 to Glow

Rebeca Mendez brings her film, CircumSolar, Migration 1 to Glow

Tomorrow night, keep an eye out for a westward migration, as culture vultures flock to Glow, the dusk-till-dawn exhibit of immersive public art installations where the sea meets the sand in Santa Monica.

Those who do make it to the Burning Man-on-the-beach all-nighter will be poised to witness an extraordinary feat of long-distance migration on the 25-foot circular screen displaying CircumSolar, Migration 1, Rebeca Mendez‘ (GRAPHIC DESIGN’84; GRAD ART ’96 ) film which captures a small sea bird’s annual journey from the Arctic to Antarctic and back again.

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“Get Physical” Lecture Now Available on AlwaysOn

Still from Rebeca Méndez' "Recurrence Relation 2" (2011)

Are you still kicking yourself for missing the Graphic Design Department’s 3×3 lecture Get Physical: New Media in Space this past September?

Then stop whatever you’re doing and visit Art Center’s AlwaysOn website, where the entire lecture–comprised of three presentations by media artist and designer Joachim Sauter, Art Center alumna and interdisciplinary artist Rebeca Méndez and contemporary media artist Christian Moeller–has just been been uploaded.

At Get Physical, Sauter, Moeller and Méndez (whose latest work, Quagmire, can currently be seen in Art Center’s WORLDS exhibition) explored ”post-virtual experiences,” those new interactions arising from the fusion of digital media within our built environment.

As might be expected, “post-virtual experiences” mean very different things to each of these three artists. For example, Méndez’ current work-in-progress Circumpolar has her following the Arctic Tern, a small seabird, as it migrates from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Mendez said that with this work she’s aiming not only to capture the bird’s behavior and habitat but to also document the invisible forces–the Sun, the Earth’s magnetism, the oceanic currents–that guide the Tern in its migration.

And the process of capturing nature is also an opportunity for her to reflect on the sublime fragility of life. ”I like spending time in the middle of the tundra, where I’m confronted with the realization that nothing out there wants me to live,” said Méndez of some of her recent works, including Recurrence Relation 2. “They told us going from the sailboat to the zodiac that if we fall in the ice, it’d be better to leave us in the water because we’d last longer than if they pulled us out. We’d last six minutes in the water, three minutes out.”

See all three presentations at Art Center’s AlwaysOn website.

Tonight: Art Center Explores Brave New WORLDS

Astronomer Mike Brown's "How I Killed Pluto" (left); Detail of Semiconductor's "Black Rain" (right)

For the past decade, Art Center’s Williamson Gallery has produced a series of exhibitions superimposing art and science, domains traditionally thought of as existing on opposite ends of a spectrum. The latest project in this continuing series is WORLDS, a medley of objects, images, sounds and videos that explore celestial phenomena.

The exhibition kicks off tonight with a presentation by Caltech’s Mike Brown (8:00 p.m., Ahmanson Auditorium). A professor of planetary astronomy and the author of How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming, Brown will speak on “Worlds of Fire, Worlds of Water” as part of Pasadena’s Art and Science (AxS) Festival 2011: Fire and Water.

Following Brown’s presentation, stay for the WORLDS opening reception (9:00 p.m., Williamson Gallery), where you can enjoy a glass of wine, groove to the sounds of Opera Posse, and see incredible work on display by such artists as Jonathan Cecil, Rebeca Méndez and Semiconductor, as well as objects on loan from The Huntington Library’s Rare Book Collection, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and The UCLA Meteroite Collection.

This event is free; RSVP to events@artcenter.edu.

3×3: Get Physical, New Media in Space

Don’t miss the latest 3×3 event: Get Physical, New Media in Space, Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Ahmanson Auditorium at Hillside Campus.

The event is hosted by the Graphic Design Department in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut of Los Angeles.

Get Physical, New Media in Space will explore the fusion of digital media with our built environment, providing post-virtual experiences.

The exciting panel will be made up of leading artists of the field: Joachim Sauter, Art Center alumna Rebeca Méndez and Christian Moeller. Graphic Design Chair Nik Hafermaas will moderate the panel.

3×3: Get Physical, New Media in Space
Thursday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m.
Ahmanson Auditorium
Hillside Campus

ENERGY Extended Through Jan. 23

Due to popular demand, ENERGY has extended its run. It will remain on display at the Williamson Gallery through Jan. 23.

ENERGY investigates how natural forces shape not only material things, but affect our emotions and intellect.

Don’t miss the closing reception later this week, Thursday, Jan. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Check out an ENERGY installation by artist (and Grad Art alumna) Rebeca Méndez in the video below:

If you haven’t already seen the exhibit, stop by the Williamson Gallery and check it out. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and Fridays noon to 9 p.m.

Read what others are saying about ENERGY: