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Notes on Sabrina Raaf’s Exhibition “A Light Green Light” at gallery@calit2, by Eduardo Navas

Gallery Visitor viewing one of the Raaf’s works at gallery@calit2.

Sabrina Raaf’s art works, Icelandic Rift, Meandering River, and Grower II among other works, are currently on view at gallery@calit2.net from April 2 to June 4, 2010.  The exhibition is titled A Light Green Light: Towards Sustainability in Practice, curated by Steve Dietz.

Raaf’s work aims to reflect on issues of the environment–a research topic that fits quite well with Calit2’s mission.  The press release reads:

The gallery@calit2 goes green this spring with an exhibition by Chicago-based artist Sabrina Raaf, whose custom-built robotic sculptures and site specific installations include a series of experiments that address issues of sustainable practice, the construction of social spaces, and prototyping for modular green architecture.

Raaf’s work may appear sci-fish to some viewers, but the precision of her execution, both materially and conceptually, demonstrates that to envision a green future is possible.  I read the robotic sculptures as an open-ended invitation to imagine a world in which we acknowledge and respect earth’s ecology.

Video of Grower II and other structures part of Icelandic Rift.

Grower II, which I was honored to curate as part of Transitio_MX last October, draws lines of different shades of green on a long piece of paper according to the level of carbon dioxide in the air.

Detail of one of Icelandic Rift’s structures.

A robotic sculpture part of Icelandic Rift, (2006-07)

Icelandic Rift, 2006-07 consists of abstract robotic-like structures inspired by the Icelandic landscape, which Raaf had the opportunity to experience at one point in person. Materials include aluminum, cast acrylic, urethane, ferrofluid, and custom kinetics and electronics.

Detail of another Icelandic Rift Structure.

Meandering River (2009), installed just to the left of the gallery’s entrance

Meandering River is inspired by the article “Meandering River as a Self Organization Process” (1996),  written by Henrik Stolum in which the author describes procedural mathematics that enable scientists to research river morphology. The drawings on thermal screens, which can be displayed in multiple forms, are  engraved by a robot.

Meandering River, installed just to the left of the gallery’s entrance.

Sabrina Raaf (left), Jordan Crandall (middle), and Steve Dietz (right), discuss the exhibition during a panel presentation held prior to the opening reception on April 2, 2010.

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