The second launch of The Satellite Art Show blazes a path forward for experimental art during Miami Art Week 2016’s commercial-driven endeavors. In this second year, Satellite has kept an eye on avant-garde and ephemera with a schedule of robust programming complementing its three floors of art exhibition space. With performances curated by Performance is Alive and interactive features making a splash, including a literal splash with the milk + cereal installation F+++ OFF by Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw, Satellite continues to innovate. The Digital Museum of Digital Art (DiMoDa) section of the fair’s lobby also made a strong impression with a virtual reality lounge featuring stimulating digital encounters.
Of Satellite’s three full floors of art experiences at the Parisian hotel, five projects achieved astronomical artistic feats and are profiled in-depth below.
AWOL Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Hut at Cape Royds
Jim Ovelmen with Mehran Ayati (feat. Michael Dee, Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, and Terri Phillips)
Entering the simulated cabin of AWOL’s exhibit at Satellite, everything is apparent but little is at it seems. High-tech surveillance equipment complements the main room’s hand-crafted art installation. The room features paper sculptures referencing the interior of British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s supply hut by Ovelmen. Shackleton was a British explorer infamous for his multiple unsuccessful attempts to claim the South Pole for England in the early 1900s. The hut’s seemingly tactile features – cooking items, clothing, stovetop – reveal themselves to be impermanent paper structures upon closer inspection. In the adjacent bathroom space, Ayati’s “periscope” installation featuring real-time video feed of the neighboring room’s installation shocks and titillates. Historic kitsch blends with cutting-edge technology to document social exploits and explorations with the sinister promise of displacement and gentrification lingering in the (paper) woodwork.
Janine Biunno, Ida Gavois, Alison Nyugen, Laura Splan, and Cave Collective
Signs and symbols traverse Doppelgänger Project’s space. In Splan’s works, coded data captured from bodily actions (like laughing) is transformed into hypnotic rhythmic patterns and re-coded as sensory input. Aesthetically pleasurable and quantifiable, Splan deftly weaves scientific findings into visually stimulating artworks. Biunno’s Future Systems paper cut-out series references symbolic gestures removed from the physical material, simple geometric forms searching for new, synthetic meaning. Allison Nyugen’s collaborative work with Alex Wolkowicz in The Dispersal and White on White juxtaposes exact formal qualities against minimal contexts: bringing isolation into contact with forces of creation. Gavois’ sound installation Beat subtly fuses our own bodily rhythms against recorded breaths and heartbeats, while Cave Collective’s Initiation sounds a discordant note through the space, providing a speculative environment for interpreting signs and icons.
Hope and Doom, Miami Beach, FL
This breakout immersive installation by artist Laurencia Strauss manages to be compelling, thoughtful and irresistible. Alternately investigative and playful, Strauss explores our relationship to the natural environment. A huge art installation/ battalion of small white model ships suspended on individual hanging platforms takes over the main room, each with variable heights depending on the actual tide at Miami beach. In dialogue with this installation is Stories for Fishes by Lisa Bulawsky and Laurencia Strauss, featuring collected imagery of individuals’ memories of time spent at Miami Beach as they were presented to the marine wildlife in the Miami Beach area. These sea creatures can retain participants’ visual experiences as they slowly intrude upon the land during our era of rapid global warming. This project has also been exhibited at O Cinema Wynwood to inspire public participation and engagement with the project. Strauss also presents cinematic visions of water seeping through areas of Miami Beach during king tides, questioning the power balance between the natural environment and built society as oceans intrude into residential areas.
Hamiltonian Artists, Washington D.C.
Rives Wiley, Joshua Haycraft, Alejandro Pintado
The central features of Hamiltonian’s show-stopping presentation is Wiley’s trompe l’oeil mixed-media installation DIY Laser Eye Surgery. Composed of everything from oil paint and hair weave to video installation, the piece investigates one’s relationship with one’s physical body through an experimental video explanation of laser eye surgery. Hyperreal and seductive, Wiley’s work is unsettling and elevator for the viewer, implicating them in this surreal surgical experience. Situated in the adjacent space, Joshua Haycraft’s 3-D abstract structures juxtaposed with Pintado’s pastiched interiors explore disconnected forms that reveal a deeper than expected interrelationship through closer observation.
The Southern, Charleston, South Carolina
Inherited Truths | Inherited Prides
Michaela Pilar Brown, Eliot Dudik and Colin Quashie
The Southern’s Satellite space showcases the intrusion of historical prejudices into the present day with charged artworks across photography, print, installation and works on paper. Brown’s pieces probe the psychological implications of her role as a black woman in contemporary society, using collage to question deep-seated prejudice while her installation, Battle Tomorrow, thwarts the agency of a swing by embedding bullets into the surface of the seat, suspended by synthetic braids with glass shards menacingly placed below. Masterfully curated in conversation with Dudik’s contemplative Civil War re-enactor portraits and Quashie’s deceptive sociopolitical wallpaper of household scenes, The Southern’s space explodes with possibility and promise.