Parallel Circuits opens at Hillestad Gallery today

"Parallel Circuits" opens today at Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery
"Parallel Circuits" opens today at Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery

"Parallel Circuits," an exhibition that evolved from a graduate seminar course, Design Perspectives and Issues, will open Dec. 10 at UNL's Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

With an emphasis on the evolution of "Do It Yourself" movement and advancements in technology, students explored the DIY culture examining historical and contemporary texts, including how-to instructional magazines, online video tutorials and personal experimentation. Students learned how to create soft circuits, dissect electronic devices, and investigate new technology like muscle wire and conductive thread.

This exhibition features work by students, faculty and invited artists, emphasizing the importance of the senses: sight, hearing and touch. Wendy Weiss, professor of textiles, clothing and design and director the the Hillestad Gallery, directed the seminar. Participating students are: Adrienne Anderson and Lindsay Ducey of Omaha; Samuel Berner of Rockville, Md.; Gregory Scott Cook of Murray, Ky.; and Molly J. McPherson of Glen Lyon, Pa.; with additional work by Bryan Day, Jay Kreimer and Weiss.

Cook merged pieces of his personal history, hidden information and tactile familiarity to create an installation that allows the viewer to manipulate field-recorded sound. Berner's paintings invite interaction with the audience using electronics to animate the painting itself. Music is the focus of Ducey's work. She incorporated electronics into textiles to produce sound through fabric speakers. Anderson used white-work to feature electroluminescent wire couched into traditional motifs applied to a white jacket of her design. McPherson's traditional embroidery techniques are blended with current technology in a multi-part piece exploring public commentary.

Little Bits, an open-source library of electronic modules that snap together, provided a starter kit for demonstration in the gallery. Visitors will have a chance to build their own snap-together circuits at a workspace set up in the gallery. The products are designed for ages 8 and older.

The collection will be on display through Jan. 18 and will feature an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 11. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Home Economics Building on 35th Street north of East Campus Loop. All events are free and open to the public. For more information call 402-472-2911.

- Wendy Weiss

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