Curiosity About the Circadian

The piece previews the upcoming exhibition, Circadian Rhythm, at Park Towne Place.

My understanding of the concept of circadian rhythm is, frankly, pretty loose. Beyond the pseudoscientific suggestion of it referring to the behavior of an “inner clock” partially at the whim of just some of the most influential environmental factors, like: light; darkness; time; when and how we sleep; the stuff we ingest or imbibe that might disrupt that equilibrium – it remains a hazy kind-of sort-of concept for me. I mean, it becomes difficult to understand it as anything but an umbrella term of, well, at least a chunk of the experience of consciousness. And so I wander…

…Unlike the total impression of being conscious, of feeling grief, joy, longing, sympathy, guilt…feeling feelings that generate ideas about a self and its relationship to others…unlike this, the circadian seems to begin at the unconscious level, while manifesting itself consciously, or, er, bodily. We become aware of it only in its disruption, like jet lag. It seems like it is without language and more often than not, oblivious to it. It is responsive to signals, but not to the meaning of words. Therefore it seems like a primal, simmering mechanism. Which is how I suspect the artists’ work in the next exhibition Circadian Rhythm at Park Towne Place may function. Colleen McCubbin Stepanic, David Slovic, Leora Brecher, and Melanie Serkes – the four artists in the show – make use of incrementally additive processes. They often repurpose pieces of past work. Sometimes they make repetitive units of things with the intention of assembling them into a complexly layered object or image. How they know they have finished each work – that never ending question – won’t likely have a clear answer.

I return to the umbrella concept. When I look at the art works, will I experience any circadian disruptions? Will the intensely additive work exhaust or soothe? Will I be able to notice any of the pauses in the construction? The diversions from one interest to another? Will there be any sense of chronology at all, or will I have to construct a position out of my witness to many interlocking durations, tests, and time capsules?

Circadian rhythm is a suggestive idea that gets to the core of some of our ongoing sensory mysteries. The questions keep coming: Why are some people more energetic in the morning, while others become more focused and creative at night? These propensities sometimes don’t necessarily align with routine; someone who works a 9 – 5 job is not, by default, a morning person, and vice versa. What does our body know? What does it recognize? How does the repetition of a unit (of time, of form) generate a bodily condition? How adaptive and impressionable is our sense of alertness? What is it like to watch a person knitting a cloth whose purpose is undetermined for hours, for days, without ever doing it ourselves? I am excited to see where the connection with the observer is forged.

Circadian Rhythm will be having a public reception on Wednesday, May 17th, at the South Tower of Park Towne Place, from 6 – 8pm.  

David Slovic, Shadow Painting, 2015, acrylic paint and gesso on chromogenic print photocollages, 120” x 80

Melanie Serkes, Liaison, 2015, cedar and stainless steel, 72” x 48” x 42”

Colleen McCubbin Stepanic, Peak, 2016
Acrylic, oil, canvas, thread, enamel, 120 × 240 × 48 in

Leora Brecher, Poised, 2011, white earthenware, 21” x 13” x 11.5”

 

I spend a lot of time in nature observing plants, the environment, and natures cycles. While in or out of the studio, I'm creating both complex and compact environments that enliven personal residences, gallery walls, and city streets. In work ranging from large scale sculptural installations, and living compilations, to miniature assemblage and mixed media works on paper, nature is my rubric and my compass. This is the way I make connections between human interests and the environment that surrounds us. 

Simultaneously, nature is my metaphor and material. Grafting together a variety of flat and dimensional elements is not uncommon in my practice.
In different ways, I'll incorporate earth, vines, flowers, roots, seeds, pigment, and wax into sculpture, and mixed media works on paper, more akin to assemblage. Nature and plants frequently act as metaphors for our human experience as they are passively or overtly layered or stitched amidst found imagery, maps, photographs, and words.
Susan Benarcik
Susan Benarcik

I spend a lot of time in nature observing plants, the environment, and natures cycles. While in or out of the studio, I'm…

I spend a lot of time in nature observing plants, the environment, and natures cycles. While in or out of the studio, I'm creating both complex and compact environments that enliven personal residences,…

I spend a lot of time in nature observing plants, the environment, and natures cycles. While in or out of the studio, I'm creating both complex and compact environments that enliven personal residences, gallery walls, and…

Linda Brenner's sculptures express the inherent structure and order found in nature. Her sculpture uses geometric compositions and references primal imagery, which transcends style or ethnic origin.
Linda Brenner
Linda Brenner

Linda Brenner's sculptures express the inherent structure and order found in nature. Her sculpture uses geometric compositions…

Linda Brenner's sculptures express the inherent structure and order found in nature. Her sculpture uses geometric compositions and references primal imagery, which transcends style or ethnic origin.…

Linda Brenner's sculptures express the inherent structure and order found in nature. Her sculpture uses geometric compositions and references primal imagery, which transcends style or ethnic origin.…

Emily Squires Levine, a Philadelphia based artist, creates colorful decorative vessels and Judaica from polymer, a synthetic modeling compound.
Emily Squires Levine
Emily Squires Levine

Emily Squires Levine, a Philadelphia based artist, creates colorful decorative vessels and Judaica from polymer, a synthetic…

Emily Squires Levine, a Philadelphia based artist, creates colorful decorative vessels and Judaica from polymer, a synthetic modeling compound.…

Emily Squires Levine, a Philadelphia based artist, creates colorful decorative vessels and Judaica from polymer, a synthetic modeling compound.…

Jude Lang is an InLiquid artist member, whose work explores the hidden narratives, emotions and perspectives imbued within the objects and beings of our memories.
Jude Lang
Jude Lang

Jude Lang is an InLiquid artist member, whose work explores the hidden narratives, emotions and perspectives imbued within…

Jude Lang is an InLiquid artist member, whose work explores the hidden narratives, emotions and perspectives imbued within the objects and beings of our memories. …

Jude Lang is an InLiquid artist member, whose work explores the hidden narratives, emotions and perspectives imbued within the objects and beings of our memories. …

Lorraine Glessner is an InLiquid member
Lorraine Glessner
Lorraine Glessner

Lorraine Glessner is an InLiquid member…

Lorraine Glessner is an InLiquid member…

Lorraine Glessner is an InLiquid member…

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