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Lethologica*: Graduate Design Thesis Exhibition

May 23, 2017 to June 17, 2017


Lethologica*, on view from May 23 through to June 18, with a reception on Wednesday, May 24 from 4-6pm. This group exhibition features the thesis artwork of five students in the Stanford Graduate Design program- MFA Design candidates Elliott Spellman, Varis Niwatsakul, Kebei Li, Brooke McEver and MS Design candidate Scott Moon.

Faculty curator, and Academic Director of the Graduate Design Program, Camille Utterback states “I am thrilled to celebrate the provocative and speculative works presented by this talented group of young designers. As the final cohort of Design MFAs who will graduate for the Department of Art & Art History, these students culminate a decades-long lineage of esteemed and influential designers who have graduated from The Stanford Design Program (formerly the Joint Program in Design). We look forward to how each of these designers, with their particular empathies and vision, will guide the design world, and our world at large, into the future.”

Camille would also like to thank guest instructor and artist Ted Purves, Chair of the MA in Social Practice and Public Forms at California College of the Arts, for his ongoing work with these students. The projects in this exhibition were developed over this academic year through a two-quarter seminar led by Ted. The class was framed around intensive investigations into theories of the social and public sphere, discussions of the contemporary social imaginaries that we inhabit, as well as the consideration of globalization itself as a context for understanding public space:

Kebei Li’s collection of ambiguous objects encapsulate the transient states of ‘being produced’ and ‘being arranged’ and ‘being disposed’ in permanent configurations. His work for the exhibition includes two furniture-like structures held together by vacuum-powered pneumatic fixtures. Through an interactive store experience, Brooke McEver sells emotions instead of objects. She questions our consumer tendencies by exploring the expectations and desires that underlie our purchases. Emotions gathered from other consumers through EEG scans, will be sold and transferred to the purchaser for an affordable price. In his immersive installation Voxel, Scott Moon experiments with volumetric projection of light by reconfiguring a projection display into a dimensional grid. His work investigates our perception of spatiality, and the threshold of our ability to decipher patterns from coordinated arrays of piece-wise information. Varis Niwatsakul's work, The Site of Potentials, engages the gallery audience in the act of architectural speculation. Visual cut-outs of people and activities collected from within San Francisco’s Mission Dolores Park are displayed against a nondescript white background devoid of context. By looking through a stereo video viewer, participants can develop their own theories of park-use as they navigate this landscape via a series of 360 degree videos. Elliott Spelman's work, Alternative Information, plays with the role of choice in our reading of information as true or false. As viewers walk along the hallway vitrine, they encounter meaningless patterns, yet embedded messages are revealed by looking through algorithmic moiré patterns. The viewer can see two contradictory messages, but they cannot see both as true. One image. Two meanings.  *Ability to translate senses into language

VISITOR INFORMATION: The Coulter Art Gallery is located in the McMurtry Building at 355 Roth Way, on Stanford’s campus. Parking is free after 4PM weekdays and all day weekends. 

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