T–F: 11 am–6 pm; Sa: 12–5 pm & by appt
Apparent Motions explores the movement of celestial objects such as the moon, sun, and stars through a constellation of photographs, sculptures, drawings, and sound media. The exhibition continues James Nizam’s interest in observing, mapping, measuring, calculating, and capturing astronomical measures of space and time through works that simultaneously confound and elucidate the modes of their production and display. Although “the astronomical” is the ostensible content of the exhibition, the artist explores the intricacies of the cosmos as a poetic framework for understanding human processes of spatial thinking, reasoning, imagination, and visualization. In this way, these works invite viewers to consider the appearance and materialization of space as they move between the acts of thought, perception, and embodiment.
Among the exhibited works is the photographic series Drawings with Starlight (2018), for which Nizam constructed a camera that allows him to draw with the light of the stars, casting time, space, and motion into spirographic patterns of extruded light. The related drawing series Field Transcripts (2019) presents an interpretation of Nizam’s fieldnotes as schematic drawings that illustrate the visual code and instructions used to generate the photographs that compose Drawings with Starlight. Alongside this, the installation Earth Spin Moon Orbit (2019) uses an astronomical tool called an equatorial mount to map the positional relationship between the moon and the gallery itself. Visualized through a moving laser pointer, we appear to be witnessing the orbital motion of the moon; however, it is in fact the earth’s counterclockwise rotation on its axis that we are observing. Simply put, the laser projection is a fixed point in space, and it is the architecture of the gallery that we are witnessing in motion. The audio piece Score (2017), sculpture Disc (2017), and photograph Heliographic Scale (2017) take three divergent approaches to interpreting the same material—starlight—and continue the perpetual cycle of data and exchange with the cosmos.