The weather has always been considered a primal and uncontrollable force. The exhibition, Out of the Blue, which opened this week at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, examines if human creativity is similarly tumultuous and unpredictable. Capturing atmospheric and geological phenomena — both real and unreal — the exhibition explores how these events, which have been unquestionably affected by humans, can also be a metaphor for the birth of new ideas. The exhibition takes a deeper look at the need for proper cultivation of social, political, and environmental influences in order for society to propagate fulfilling creative endeavors.
Matterhorn Icon series 1-6 by Diane Burko
The exhibition features a wide swath of work, from desert videos to piles of take-one candy. In each piece, the essence of the creative process is used to harness the fluctuating nature of — well, nature — into a coherent message.
Some works show wispy contemplations of clouds, the remixing of satellites and birds’ wings, or the traveling performance/installation of a picnic set with folding chairs. In the last aforementioned piece, artist Austin Thomas travels with a collapsible set of chairs and porch tables, armed with a screw diver and a few drinks. She offers up the mobile backyard hangout: which, incidentally, is one of the best ways to kick back and contemplate the ever-blueness of the sky.
The show was implemented by curators Amy Lipton of ecoartspace, Joy Episalla, and Joy Garnett. The exhibition also showed in 2006 at the Abington Art Center, addressing the same essential questions with a series of photographs, paintings and installations. It coincided with the launch of strangeweather.info, a creative online climate change resource.