apexart: Coding the Body - organized by: Leah Buechley - 20 Mar 2014 to 10 May 2014
Yves Gellie, Professor Zou Renti and His Android,
from the series Human Version 2.0
Coding the Body
organized by: Leah Buechley
Wednesday, March 19: 6-8 pm On view:
March 20 - May 10, 2014
Featuring work by:
Sarah Fdili Alaoui
Cait & Casey Reas
Our bodies and our lives are defined by codes. Smart phone apps tell us where we are, genetic codes map our past and future, and religious codes mandate what we can put in and on our bodies. Exoskeletons running military software promise to turn us into real-life iron men, fashion designer-coders write programs that automatically generate 3D printed clothing, and roboticists work tirelessly to build human replicas.
Codes and machines are voraciously claiming more and more of our time, our attention, and our physical selves. With each new year we spend more time interacting with computers and less time interacting with people and our natural environment. Abstract mathematical frameworks are increasingly portrayed as the only valid way to make sense of the world. Humanist approaches wield less and less influence. Many of us occupy this landscape with fascination, enchantment, and unease.
Coding the Body interrogates the relationships between humans and code. It explores how code is being used to understand, control, decorate, and replicate us. The exhibition celebrates the beauty of code and its manifestations while casting a wary eye on its ever expanding power.
Leah Buechley is a designer, engineer, artist, and educator whose work explores intersections and juxtapositions—of "high" and "low" technologies, new and ancient materials, and masculine and feminine making traditions. She also develops tools that help people build their own technologies, among them the LilyPad Arduino kit. She recently left her position as an Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab to start a design firm. While at MIT she founded and directed the High-Low Tech research group. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ars Electronica Festival, and the Exploratorium, and has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Popular Science, and Wired. Leah received a PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in physics from Skidmore College. At both institutions she also studied dance, theater, fine art, and design.