Terrifying Noble Splendid

October 5 – November 2, 2013



Terrifying Noble Splendid, observes the intersection of the spiritual and technological. Utilizing pervasive forms of media, including digital archives, 3D animation and video games, the ten artists of this exhibition reimagine connotations of spirituality in art.

Engaging with new media as a means for probing the spiritual, in contrast to its often-cited predisposition to the utilitarian and rational, Terrifying Noble Splendid proposes deep emotional potential in art and technology. In approach of such large entities as spirituality and technology, the exhibition explores feelings of the sublime, the sensation of something larger than human comprehension. Immanuel Kant’s qualifying definitions of the sublime – the terrifying, noble, and splendid – serve as an entry point into where the spiritual and technological meet.

As Kant puts forth, “the sublime moves, whilst the beautiful charms.” The artworks of this exhibition are not meant to fully provide a sublime experience, but they do confront aspects of this feeling. They were selected for how they move us and make us reconsider our relationship with art, technology and spirit.

Featured artists:

Pippin Barr, Gregory Bennett, Erik Berglin and Clement Valla, Snow Yunxue Fu, Zach Gage, Yael Kanarek, Desiree Leary, Nick Yulman, Siebren Versteeg

Saturday, November 2nd Performance by Lesley Flanigan

Curated by Ari Lipkis and Chris Romero

New Zealand artist Gregory Bennett’s Omnipolis I observes group dynamics, humanity, and eternity. Using 3D animation Bennett presents an endlessly revolving tower surrounded in darkness and habituated by praying and wailing human-like automatons. The experience akin to Dante’s descent into Inferno.

Cosmic and biomorphic, Snow Yunxue Fu’s 3D animation Ma alludes to questions of the world we inhabit and our significance in it. Through a topographical journey, Ma proposes an otherworldly dimension that is inconceivably vast and curiously familiar.

Zach Gage’s #Fortune presents viewers with a mysterious box and a large button. Upon pressing the button a fortune appears. The origins of these mantras may feel divine but they also exist tethered to reality. In creating each unique mantra Gage modifies public Tweets, ultimately questioning our fascination of social networks as sites for ritualistic and habitual practice.

Utilizing custom software Yael Kanarek’s computational video, Clock: Jerusalem to Tel Aviv instills a sense of endless desire and time travel. Using footage shot from the window of a shared taxi, Kanarek synchronizes video in real time – presenting a myriad of moments that loop infinitely. Proposed is a theoretical beginning in an ancient city, and an ending point in one that is modernized, yet arrival is forever stymied.

Desiree Leary’s sculptural series In Praise of Seeing (You) inhabits TEMP’s storefront window and entrance. Incorporating reflective found objects and light diffraction glasses the installation balances between the luxurious and ordinary. The nature and identity of the objects come into question, but so does the viewer as they gaze and at their warped reflection.

Inspired by church pipe organs, Nick Yulman transforms half of TEMP’s ground floor into a space reminiscent of a chapel. Yulman presents a new commissioned installation that imbues common items with soul and song.

Siebren Versteeg is an artist whose practice weaves together algorithmic programming and painterly expression. Integrating elements of abstract expressionism and generative code, Versteeg’s site specific work will reside on both TEMP’s ground and basement levels.

Inspired by the physicality of sound, experimental musician Lesley Flanigan builds her own instruments using minimal electronics, microphones and speakers. Performing these instruments alongside traditional instrumentation that often includes her own voice, she creates a kind of physical electronic music that embraces both the transparency and residue of process — sculpting sound from a pallet of noise and subtle imperfections.

Gregory Bennett. "Omnipolis", 2012.

Snow Yunxue Fu. "Ma", 2013.

Yael Kanarek. "Clock: Jerusalem to Tel Aviv", 2010.