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New Media


Image of Center of Gravity

Center of Gravity
New Media

2008
96 x 5 x 5 in. (243.84 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)

Gail Wight (Sunnyvale, Connecticut, 1960 - ) Primary

Object Type: New Media
Medium and Support: Digital pigment prints on kozo washi; Plexiglas, lights, motion sensors, audio
Credit Line: Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation and Ron Casentini
Accession Number: 2009.17

Exhibition


Indestructible Wonder
, April 18, 2016 - January 29, 2017, Second Floor, Central and North Galleries, San José Museum of Art.

SmartSpace, February 21 - March 15, 2012, Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.

Vital Signs: New Media from the Permanent Collection, June 12, 2010 - February 6, 2011, New Wing, Second Floor, South Gallery, San José Museum of Art.

SJMA Label Text


Indestructible Wonder (2016-2017)

In Center of Gravity, Gail Wight considered climate change and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems through the lens of geologic time. Following conversations with paleontologists, Wight created tall tubes that resemble core samples taken from the earth that reveal environmental changes such as variations of temperature or rainfall and successions of plant or animal species. Wight lined each pole with photographs of environments rich with significant geologic and plant specimens—thrombolite fields in western Australia, cliffs filled with ammonites in southern England, deserts and ravines in California, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and sections of the Atlantic shoreline in Connecticut. The tubes glow from within to suggest a hidden energy, while distorted sounds characteristic of these locations and triggered by motion evoke a mysterious and ethereal presence of the natural world.


Vital Signs: New Media from the Permanent Collection (2010-2011)

In Center of Gravity (2008), Gail Wight considered climate change and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems through the lens of geologic time. Inspired to explore this expansive concept by conversations she had with paleontologists, she created tall tubes that resemble core samples taken from the earth. These layered records of the earth’s geological history show environmental changes such as variations of temperature or rainfall and successions of plant or animal species. Current environmental problems became even more urgent to Wight as she compared them to changes that occurred over millions of years. In this artwork, each pole is lined with pigment prints – digital photographs of fragile environments like the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Atlantic shoreline in Connecticut—taken on Wight’s travels. Distorted sounds indigenous to these areas like coyotes wailing, insects chirping, and birds calling echo through this “forest of photographic core samples.” The tubes glow from within to suggest an inner source of energy and hope for our planet.

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