Transcending the limitations of the photographic medium, John Singletary creates multidisciplinary installation experiences. His work graces The Gallery at Penn College through March 22. Singletary’s Through Lines/Fault Lines is the first exhibition of multimedia work on screens in the gallery’s history. Located on the third floor of The Madigan Library at Pennsylvania College of Technology, the gallery is in its 17th season.
The exhibition includes two installations: Traces and Anahata.
“John’s new series, Traces, was created specifically for his solo exhibition in The Gallery at Penn College,” said Penny Griffin Lutz, gallery director. “Visitors will be immersed in an audiovisual experience that explores culture, beliefs and the human connection.”
Traces uses video, digital and stop-motion animation, historical footage, and audio. “Anahata” is photography-based and presented as an immersive installation on organic LED electronic canvases.
A photographer and multimedia artist based in Philadelphia, Singletary received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from The University of the Arts. His work has been collected by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Center for Fine Art Photography, as well as other institutional and private collections.
The artist says the imagery and vignettes in Traces, an ongoing multimedia work, depict “the extraordinary light and darkness in the human condition and life events such as the genesis of our existence and the purpose we serve to each other and ourselves.”
The audio component of the installation consists of a series of anonymously conducted interviews with a range of participants. The perspectives highlighted reveal the universality and individuality of values, the intersectionality of symbolism across cultures and lineages, and the perpetual cycles of life.
“Surveying the myriad and disjointed experiences that make up a life, ‘Traces’ explores the way we construct our internal narratives and create meaning from experience,” Singletary said.
Anahata explores human relationships and their connection to the divine. Choreographed movement was captured with an open-spectrum camera in a purpose-built, ultraviolet light studio where dancers performed in handcrafted costumes. The resulting dreamlike images are steeped in archetypal symbolism, mythology and mysticism.
A long-term collaboration between the artist and dancers, costume designers, makeup artists, choreographers and other artists, Anahata unveils a “frenetic tribe” that feels of another place and time.
The Gallery at Penn College is open 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. (The gallery is closed on Mondays and Saturdays and will also be closed March 5-12 during Spring Break.)
Thank you to John Singletary for the content of this post.
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artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis
Interweaving sound, language and image, The Altering Shores is a four screen video performance with live music. Set in the marshlands and industrial wastelands of our local Delaware River watershed and others worldwide, the experience presents a kaleidoscope of climate futures through fragmented language and multi-layered sounds and images. Participants are guided through this uncertain terrain by lead artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis.
Beginning on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm you can experience the project via short 360-degree vignettes, viewable at four unique virtual reality pop-up stations around the University of Pennsylvania campus. The stations will appear from 4-6pm on Nov 16, 19, 21, and 23.
Environmental Storytelling & Virtual Reality will explore environmental research and virtual reality (VR) across two days of talks, film screenings, workshops and a live multimedia performance for students, faculty, and staff at Penn and beyond.
The festival is organized around three keywords that illuminate the connections between interdisciplinary environmental research and virtual reality technologies and experiences: empathy, education, and action on climate. As authors of the October 2018 IPCC Special Report have urged, action on climate must come now, from individuals and institutions across sectors and across languages and borders. The forecast of 1.5 degree surface warming already by 2040, as dire as it is realistic, points to the need to wrench down greenhouse gas emissions to slow the current acceleration of ongoing climate change.
It also hints at the creative and imaginative combinations of scientists, humanists, artists, and environmental and public health advocates that we can bring together to nurture, in the language of the IPCC report, “the wide scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming to 1.5 C.”
The IPCC report also suggests the role of emotion. Taking action on climate depends centrally on empathy. And, if that empathy is to make positive environmental impacts, it needs education. Touted in headlines as “the ultimate empathy machine,” virtual reality holds great promise as an educational tool, but remains largely untested. In this gathering of scientists, artists, educators, and the interested public, we want to put this claim to the test to see how VR and immersive storytelling might catalyze action on climate.
The event’s invited guests work at the forefront of VR, AR, and game design in educational institutions, in media and journalism, and in informal community spaces promoting public health, environmental literacy, and climate solutions.
RODERICK COOVERholds a BA from Cornell University (1989), an MA from Brown University (1994) and a PhD in the history of culture, with a specialization in media arts and anthropology, from the University of Chicago (1999). His films and new-media works include Unknown Territories (2011), Vérité to Virtual (DER, 2008), The Theory of Time Here (Video Data Bank, 2007), and Cultures in Webs (Eastgate, 2003), among others. His scholarship has been published in journals such as Film Quarterly,Visual Studies, and Visual Anthropology and in books such as the SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods. As co-editor of the recently published Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts (University of Chicago Press), Professor Coover examines the impact of new technologies in the humanities and arts.
Philly Welcomes A Centennial For Women’s Rights, New Hotels & More In 2020,Major Art Exhibits and Epic Anniversaries
Philadelphia and The Countryside® will give visitors many reasons to visit in 2020. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will complete phase one of its dramatic renovation—and unveil its new spaces in concert with an exhibition of works by Jasper Johns, which will occur alongside a complementary mirror exhibition of Johns work at the Whitney. The entire region is getting behind the 19th Amendment’s centennial with Women 100 programming throughout the year. In other anniversary news, the Philadelphia Orchestra has planned a weeks-long musical celebration to mark Beethoven’s 250th, and PHILADANCO wraps its 50th year of innovating in dance with must-see performances. Hotel openings include the city’s first W Hotel and a luxurious revival of River House at Odette’s in New Hope, Bucks County. All these new events are amazing, but in truth, Philadelphia and The Countryside has enough amazing annual events, visiting is great any time of year.
Here are some of the major events and openings to cover in the new year:
Philadelphia Museum of Art – The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s landmark circa 1928 institution unveils the completion of its Core Project, a major redesign by architect Frank Gehry. The last phase of the project will welcome 23,000 square feet of new gallery space, reclaiming space beneath the East Terrace (site of the Rocky steps) for galleries of early American, modern and contemporary art. It will also reveal the renovation of the West Entrance and Lenfest Hall, create a major gathering space called the Forum (replacing Van Pelt Auditorium) and reopen the southern portion of the Vaulted Walkway.
Fall 2020. In addition, the museum is partnering with the Whitney Museum of American Art on simultaneous exhibitions of the work of Jasper Johns, considered the country’s most significant living artist. The unprecedented collaboration chronologically shows paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, books and costumes that mirror the other’s display, creating an immersive exhibition that itself, is a study in Johns’ fascination with reflections. October 2020-February 2021. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
BeethovenNOW – The Philadelphia Orchestra marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday in two epic celebrations. The first invites pianists Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov and Emanuel Ax to perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos (January 23-February 8, 2020). Next, the Fabulous Philadelphians spend four weeks juxtaposing Beethoven’s nine genre-transforming symphonies with contemporary works from composer-in-residence Gabriela Lena Frank and her diverse composers from the Creative Academy of Music. March 12-April 5, 2020. January performances, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street; following performances, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
PHILADANCO’s 50th – The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) continues its 50th anniversary celebration by hosting the 32nd International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Merriam Theater and SEI Innovation Studio, as well as the DoubleTree Philadelphia, Cambria Hotel Philadelphia and The University of the Arts (January 14-19, 2020). The company’s season culminates with Fast-Forward, a look at the future of choreography in a co-commission with Toronto’s Dance Immersion, Vietnam’s Thang Dao, Broadway’s Ray Mercer and choreographer Kathy Smith. April 17-19, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 387-8200, philadanco.org
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The Women’s Professional Golf Association (PGA)’s second-longest running tournament—and one of five majors on the tour—brings 156 of the world’s best golfers to Delaware County’s circa 1896 Aronimink Golf Club for the first time. Aronimink’s course was designed in 1926 by renowned Scottish architect Donald Ross. June 23-28, 2020. 3600 St. Davids Road, Newtown Square, (610) 356-8000, KPMGWomensPGA.com
100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment:
Votes for Women: A Visual History – The Brandywine River Museum of Art displays and explains century-old political cartoons, plays, posters, parades and fashion that formed the visual culture of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Drawings, illustrations, photographs of marches and rallies, clothing and accessories—especially sashes—re-create and contextualize this time of tangible art and physical action, long before social media or television. February 1-June 7, 2020. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org
WomenNOW Concert Series – Women who are composers, conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists star throughout the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season. Through June 6, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
19th Amendment – The National Constitution Center’s upcoming exhibit about the movement for women’s voting rights will expand on the permanent exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. The new exhibit explores constitutional arguments for and against women’s rights and offers fascinating historical context, spotlighting multiple generations of advocates and exploring the complex debates surrounding rights for African Americans versus rights for women. Summer 2020. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
Women 100 – This series of programs and events that celebrates American women and sparks new ideas about the path to gender equality, presented by Drexel University’s Vision2020, is the largest centennial celebration in the United States honoring the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. women100.org
Seat at the Table – A free, seven-day-a-week, interactive art exhibition by Dome Collective invites the public to experience women’s representation in places of power (seats at tables) through 3D infographic furniture, while a wall of interactive screens introduces gender barrier-breakers throughout women’s history. March 1-September 2020 (exact date TBA). Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, domecollective.com
SHE Leads Road Rally – Race car drivers pull an all-night, roundtrip road trip from East Falls in Philadelphia to Seneca Falls, New York, site of the first Women’s Rights Convention. (Buses also available.) June 19-20, 2020. Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 W. Queen Lane, women100.org
Toast to Tenacity™ – Independence Mall honors the 100th anniversary of voting rights for women—Women’s Equality Day—with midday speakers, live music and glasses raised to suffragists. August 26, 2020. 599 Market Street, phlvisitorcenter.com
Celebrating Women – This 2,500-person celebration of American women begins with a ceremony featuring music, performance segments and a salute to 100 women who have blazed trails for others to follow in a multitude of fields. September 16, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, women100.org, kimmelcenter.org
W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia – Center City will welcome two 52-story, side-by-side Marriott properties. The vibrant, modern W Philadelphia (the city’s first W hotel) will have 295 luxurious rooms, along with a bar terrace, Living Room lounge, lap pool and 22 meeting rooms. Philadelphia’s rapidly expanding, wellness-focused Element (another first for the region) will have 460 rooms. Early 2020 (dates TBA). W Philadelphia, 1439 Chestnut Street, w-hotels.marriott.com; Element Philadelphia, 1441 Chestnut Street, element-hotels.marriott.com
River House at Odette’s – The site of Bucks Country’s beloved cabaret greets a 38-room boutique hotel overlooking the Delaware River. Cabaret queen Odette Myrtil’s legacy remains in the vaulted-ceilings Piano Lounge, luxurious textiles, amazing views, a members-only rooftop bar, spectacular river view ballroom for weddings and events of up to 200 guests and a resurrected Odette’s, known for whiskey cocktails and local menu. Spring 2020. 274 S. River Road, New Hope, (215) 682-2022, riverhousenewhope.com
The Hyatt Centric Hotel – Philadelphia firm DAS Architects is behind the rustic modern design—and targeting LEED Silver certification—for 13-story, 332-room new construction one block from Rittenhouse Square. The Hyatt Centric will offer a second floor restaurant and onsite underground parking. Summer 2020 (date TBA). 17th & Chancellor Streets. hyatt.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
Thank you to Cara Schneider, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, for the content of this post.
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Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020
Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago: February 6 –May 16, 2021
The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures brings together some 80 works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker and the Art Institute of Chicago following its presentation in Philadelphia.
Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
While no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most importantly, fresh ideas.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and responding to—different visions of the future, but also to understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations.”
Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of seaweed.
“Some of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible, debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations to take flight.”
The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources, visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in 2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space, responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the human footprint on the environment. The section titled Generations will explore ways in which the choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival.
In Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.
Intimacies is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the possibility of digitally mediated love and sex, suggesting what advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.
Foods contains projects that explore the future of the human diet. Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter, by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells.
Additional sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while Power willlook at how design may affect our citizenship and help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices, and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data acknowledges and questions the different ways that information might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and asymmetries, to shape different futures.
Futures Therapy Lab
As part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs, many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights, will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through reflection, discussion, and art making.”
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer in honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.
Centered on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate the design context within broader historical, social, political, and aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
The primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher, Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan, with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson, Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour, Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman, and Eyal Weizman.
Designs for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.
The curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; at the Walker Art Center, Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.
Kathryn B. Hiesinger is The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form inMotion (2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001), Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design since 1945 (1983).
Michelle Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017).
Emmet Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding, publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in 2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.
Maite Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia University, New York. She is the author and curator of Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and performance.
Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019) and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of architecture and design on society.
We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.
Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.
Philadelphia native, John Singletary, is a fine art photographer and multimedia artist. His educational training includes both Drexel University and a BFA in Photography from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. He has exhibited at The Pennsylvania State Museum of Art, LG Tripp Gallery and The James Oliver Gallery. As well, his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Center for Fine Art Photography and The Haverford College Archives.
Anahata is a photographic exhibition that uses its mode of presentation to transcend the limitations of the medium in a multi-disciplinary installation experience. Photographs are animated through multiple state-of-the-art OLED panels used as electronic canvases. The technology is synchronized to create joined, large format displays, some forming 8′ x 8′ luminous squares or a 30′ Greco-Roman frieze-inspired composition. Images materialize out of walls and recede back into darkness, as would apparitions in this oddly familiar living space. These and other works are set to original music composed by John Singletary and Matt Hollenberg.
While the ambition in Singletary’s presentation is of distinct merit, it’s not mere technology doing the real work. The photographic quality in his highly ornamented images demonstrates a conscious and masterful use of the medium. Influenced by a production approach found in theater and cinema, Singletary and his crew built a black box studio in a Victorian house in Germantown, PA as a set for the photography in Anahata. This long term collaborative project enlisted dancers, theater performers, costume designers, make-up artists, choreographers and set technicians. And, in this black box studio, the dream-like imagery, extracted from mythology, symbolism and mysticism directs the narrative in Anahata as it explores human relationships and their connection to the divine.
In John Singletary’s inventive world of Anahata, the artist commands an ancient cry from demons and gods in spear-decorated headdresses and cocoon-like webs that conquer and connect us. From there, he uses an advanced understanding of technology to move forward seamlessly into a hyper-lit future. With his sensitivity in making this unique grand scale production personal and through his exacting print work, the fantasticality in Anahata becomes very real.