The Constant Search for a Better Way

An exploration exploring the general weirdness of technology and humanity’s attempts to exploit “the technical” to its advantage.

SFU Gallery | The Constant Search for a Better Way | JUN 19

June 20 – August 1, 2008
SFU Gallery, Burnaby Campus Opening: Thursday June 19 from 7pm to 9pm
* Please note the weeknight opening!

An exhibition exploring the general weirdness of technology and humanity’s attempts to exploit “the technical” to its advantage, with work by:

Kelly Jazvac (Toronto), Daniel Laskarin (Victoria), Evan Lee (Vancouver), Julio Lopez (Vancouver), Jason McLean (Toronto), Robert McNealy (Vancouver), Steven Rayner (Nova Scotia), Jon Sasaki (Toronto), Ian Wallace (Vancouver), Neil Wedman (Vancouver)

Progress, in all its guises — including the invention and expansion of technologies — is the central tenet of Modernism. The arts and sciences both have experimentation at their core; neither the results of experiments nor the ways in which new technologies will exist in the world can ever be accurately predicted.

This exhibition was inspired by Julio Lopez’s wall sculptures depicting computer-generated warning messages such as “permanent fatal error.” These messages have a long history of driving humans to distraction, while offering “solutions” that often lead to vicious cycles of frustration, rather than resolutions. Technology itself shares some of the qualities of those infuriating messages, promising much, and, in the end, like millions of cast-off voters, delivering little except more garbage to despoil the landscape. The technologies in this show are failed (Laskarin, Sasaki, Wallace), parodied (Jazvac, Lopez, McNealy), aestheticized (Lee, McLean, Wedman) or invasive — as in Steven Rayner’s reanimated taxidermied animals.
Science, art, and technology all play in the global sandbox of endless improvement; that search is explored here, as is humanity’s inability to foresee the results of its own inventiveness. The exhibition title comes from a 1962 Bell Labs ad announcing the invention of the laser. The ad’s text ends with: “research and development, which have brought so much to so many, have but touched the fringe of still greater progress to come.”

Opening: Thursday June 19, 7pm to 9pm
Several of the artists will be in attendance

Lunchtime talks at 12:05pm and 12:35pm: Tuesday June 24, Wednesday June 25, Thursday July 3

Talks for classes or groups: May be scheduled by appointment.

Contact us at: 778.782.4266 or gallery@sfu.ca