The Chicago Art Department, on Halsted and 19th, will present new artworks by three Chicago artists Leah Murphy, Maria Scileppi and Nathan Peck on December 13th and 14th. The exhibition titled You are wHere is an intermedia exploration of maps and human motion. Each artist was asked to explore the themes of time and place in different dimensions. The results are layered 2D, 3D, or 4D artworks that guide the viewer through mapped emotional landscapes.
Maria Scileppi’s work reveals the hidden patterns found within everyday living by visualizing the GPS data of different communities; bike messengers, marathoners and Burning Man participants. She turns the concept of a portrait on its head by using time and place to tell the story. The results of her “living designs” are motion graphics and still images that capture the unique pattern created by that particular group at that particular moment in time.
Scileppi’s work, shown on mammoth projections in the gallery, reinforce the viewers consideration of time and place as they show the bicycle messenger make graceful mile-long marks across the city. Her work adds a human element to mapping and geography that we don’t usually see. By adding human interactions she turns them into emotional terrain.
Leah Murphy creates photo sculpture. Her new work called Route 38 explores the illinois route (aka. Roosevelt Road) by photographing it every mile, from DeKalb to Lake Michigan. The sculpture displays the photos on transparent plates lit from underneath.
The viewer looks down the center of the road and sees a murky blur of data as the images gradualy shift from country to town to suburb to city. As you approach the sculpture from the side, though, you can pinpoint a segment of the route and focus on the details of that time and place.
Murphy transforms seemingly inconsequential photographs into an exploration of Midwestern geography and living. “I want the viewer to notice the little things that we normally disregard as we go about our lives. Those are the things that make the world around us so unique and interesting.”
Nathan Peck will present a new series called The Beats That I Frequent. After years of remixing encyclopedias Peck has shifted his attention to the atlas and map. “I want to acknowledge the folks that I collaborate with on these collages. previously it was writers and page layout designers in the Torn from Britannica series, now it is the surveyors and politicians that draw our maps.”.
Nathan Peck, a Wicker Park Resident, is an Associate Professor in the Art & Design Department at Saint Xavier University, on Chicago’s South Side. He is a co-founder of the Chicago Art Department, a non-profit art center with locations in Pilsen and West Town. He also works regularly at Transamoeba and Catalyst Studios in the South Loop and Humbolt Park. “I spend lots of time rolling from one art studio to the next, always looking for inspiration. I decided to make art about my process of making art.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public and will also feature a holiday art sale upstairs. Give interesting, local, contemporary art to your friends and family this year.