Factory Work| Sue Berg
Sue Berg was born in Bamberg, Germany and was adopted into an American military family. She spent her childhood moving from place to place, state to state, country to country. This constant change allowed Sue to become an ardent observer of how things are in the world. Fascinated by buildings and historic mechanical, wooden structures of all kinds her work is architectural in nature. The phrase form follows function coined by American architect Louis Sullivan is apt here as many design decisions are based on the physics of construction. The use recycled materials imbues the work with history, memory and reveals the effects of time on objects. The desire to explore the aesthetic quality of recycled materials, examine physical construction methods and create a simplified vision of the world are the conceptual underpinnings of this ongoing work.
She received her MFA in New Media from Maine College of Art in 2001. Currently she lives in Torrington, Connecticut and is a Professor of Art at Northwestern Connecticut Community College.
Venetian | Gene Gort
Gene Gort is a visual artist, video producer, media programmer and educator who lives in Torrington, Connecticut. His artwork and videotapes have been shown internationally including DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; Pacific Film Archive/Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; TheVideoArtFoundation, Barcelona, Spain; Cyberarts Festival 2001 + 2010, Boston, MA; University of Rochester; Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY; Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts; Vtape Salon and the Art Gallery of York University/Prefix Centre for Contemporary Art, Toronto; Black Maria Film and Video Festival, touring; Athens Film and Video Festival, Athens, Ohio. He has been twice recognized by the Rockefeller Foundation with nominations in the Film/Video/New Media categories for individual fellowships. He has received grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts; Pollack-Krasner Foundation; LEF Foundation; New England Foundation for the Arts, "New Forms": National Endowment for the Arts Regional Artists Projects and has received two residencies at the MacDowell Artist Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and a residency at iPark, East Haddam, CT in 2009. He currently holds the position of Professor of Media Arts at Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, a program he designed and directs.
Fool's Gold | Gail Gregg
In Fool’s Gold, I’ve married two separate projects united by themes of consumerism and excess.
In The Gilded Gyre, I’ve painstakingly transformed the humble paper-pulp packing forms that typically elicit no more than a quick glance as we Americans unwrap our new smartphones, video games, Dyson vacuums or 50-inch TVs. Using traditional techniques, I’ve gilded these objects with metal leaf – creating my own fool’s gold from material that typically is destined for the recycling bin. Transformed into precious objects, these quirky shapes can remind the viewer of totemic forms, tribal art, space-age toys. Suddenly mysterious and consequential, they invite investigation.
And, I hope, they also remind us about our Western addiction to the shiny new products with which we so casually fill our lives. Like the trash gyres in the Pacific Ocean where plastic rubbish bobs and spins in perpetuity, many of us find ourselves swamped with stuff that seems both necessary to 21st century life – and also threatens to overwhelm it.
In my sister project, the Bling Collage Series, I again refer to consumerism and excess in this second Gilded Age, where billionaires and oligarchs circle the globe on private jets in search of art, glamour, fashion and power. Using images culled from luxury magazines, I enhance the already over-the-top $10,000 handbags, sable jackets, half-million-dollar watches, infinity swimming pools and Bentleys designed to appeal to the Superrich. It appears that, for the .001%, it’s hard to find things to buy that put even a tiny dent in their net worth.
In their final form, the collage are printed digitally and mounted behind shiny acrylic, returning the images to the glossiness of the high-end magazines they came from. In a way, the Bling images are hyped-up “re-advertisements,” for imaginary products that are not outside the realm of imagination for today’s global Superrich.