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Tuesday, March 24 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Art Exhibit: Old Graduate Sculpture Studio

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This exhibit is open 6:00-9:00 pm, March 22-29. 

Bob Vanderbob

Fecundity: 1. the ability to cause or assist healthy growth; 2. the ability to produce offspring; 3. the creative power of the mind or imagination

Will the fecundity of our minds come to the rescue of biological fecundity? Will we collapse and go extinct, or adapt, survive and thrive? It is a delicate balance.

On one hand, the natural systems that sustain human activity are stretched to their limit. Biodiversity is dwindling. We humans are increasingly prey to fertility problems, due to the accumulation of pollution in our bodies. On the other, our understanding of biosystems is exploding. We are decoding nature’s fundamental processes at an accelerating pace with the help of the exponential rise in computing power. 

Whereas our ancestors conjured up potent fertility deities associated with pregnancy, birth, life, rainfall, harvest, love, sex and beauty, the dry and abstract vocabulary we use today in relation to fecundity is not exactly rousing: 'the environment', 'sustainability', 'biodiversity'...

With this installation, Bobvan proposes a mythological, poetic experience, a revitalization of the age-old archetype encompassing the nested metaphorical meanings of the notion of fecundity to include the agility of the mind and the potential of the imagination. 

The installation is inspired by a Neolithic fecundity figure found in Harappa, in the Indus Valley.

A 3D-printed female figure in unsmoothed low-poly, a metaphor for the human species as an ongoing work in progress, is balanced on her head. She becomes a screen onto which are projected images of life, energy, water, bacteria, sperm and ovules, electronic patterns, genetic and binary code. The modern-day 'power' icon is projected onto her skull, reminiscent of Neolithic representations of the vulva, a universal fecundity symbol. In stark contrast, images of desert landscapes in video negative and of Venus, Earth's barren sister planet, are projected onto the back wall. The whole installation is enshrined in a large mirror box, evoking the ongoingness of the universe-as-process by reflecting the fecundity figure ad infinitum in all directions. 

Fecundity is part of Bobvan's Artificial Mythology project; it is presented at Balance-Unbalance as a world premiere. 


Mobile Eco Studio is a social art project involving artist-led workshops, planting indigenous species in unused bits of land. It integrates indigenous culture, biology, and community engagement, and adds a unique approach to the related subjects of climate and culture. Its special relationship to the climate and culture of Arizona will help visitors at the conference become more familiar with this unique place and ecosystem.

Words for Water
Tracey Benson

Words for Water explores a diversity of languages, including Indigenous Australian languages, as a starting point to evoke a connection to water as the sustaining element of all life. Indigenous cultures have an acute understanding of and connection to the relationship between body, environment (site) and identity, and this project seeks to awaken this connection more broadly across cultures and practices.

Words for Water is an exploration into the many aspects of the chemical of H2O. Water makes up over 70 percent of the human body; it is essential for sustaining life and has massive social and cultural significance.

Water may seem ubiquitous, but it has some rather uncommon properties. At the atomic level, water can influence how life and landscapes are formed, such as how water moves through a plant and how rivers meander around bends. It is also the only chemical that be formed in three states – vapour, liquid and solid.

This project uses a range of mixed reality media approaches – the use of augmented media to ‘trigger’ sound and video, the development of a smart phone/tablet app, gallery and installation based exhibitions, and a projection work that bring this project together in a filmic, linear narrative.

Words for Water is seen as an ever-expanding project, allowing for infinite expansion of words, thoughts and stories related to water. The project has appeared at SCANZ2015, New Plymouth, New Zealand; Photoacess, October 2014; 3WDS14, Waterwheel World Water Day Symposium, March 2014; and Stage One of Words for Water was presented as part of the Transreal Topologies exhibition at the Royal Institute of Science in Adelaide, October 2013, held in conjunction with the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR).


Matt Garcia

Matt Garcia is an interdisciplinary artist maintaining a socially engaged practice exploring the intersection of technology and society. Much of Garcia's work investigates the subjectivity of dry land ecology, place and visual culture. In 2009, Garcia founded DesertArtLAB, a social... Read More →


Bob Vanderbob

Bob Vanderbob, a.k.a. Bobvan, is an artist and composer based in Brussels (Belgium). He explores the interaction between art, mythology, science, and science-fiction to convey his poetic vision of the techno-human condition. He calls his project Artificial Mythology, a matrix of mythological... Read More →

Desert ArtLAB

Desert ArtLAB is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to a public art practice exploring connections between ecology, technology, and community. Through multimedia performance, food practice, and visual and social art, desert ArtLAB seeks to inform a discourse of desert urban... Read More →

Tracey Benson

Tracey Benson is a green geek/artist/researcher into connected communities, UX, WCAG, Gov.2.0, sustainability, tech/art synergies, maps and FOSS. Tracey has been active in a number of media arts communities: in 2007, she co-founded the Canberra chapter of dorkbot with Alexandra Gillespie... Read More →

Tuesday March 24, 2015 6:00pm - 9:00pm MST
Old Graduate Sculpture Studio 900 S. Forest Mall Tempe, AZ 85281

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