Dickie Cox & Mike Richison
Opening Reception: July 21, 2017. 6pm-9pm
Exhibition Dates: July 21 – August 4, 2017
Go Play consists of works that integrate the emerging technologies of digitally-fabricated sculptural objects, augmented reality, video projection remapping, custom-built electronics, and social interfaces. With their hands-on installations, Dickie Cox and Mike Richison invite you to let your guard down, explore small-scale installation environments, and play together.
Dickie Cox, a Virginia native, is an transmedia artist, designer, and creative technologist. In his studio practice, he unites design, interactivity, electronics, coding, and animation. He approaches projects with an active imagination, a love of narrative, and a sense of fearlessness. His films and installations have shown across the United States. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Design and a Bachelors of General Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and he currently teaches digital media in the Department of Communication at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
Originally from Michigan, Mike Richison, relocated to New Jersey in 2007. He is also a professor at Monmouth University, where he teaches motion graphics and graphic design in the Department of Art and Design. He earned an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Studio Art from Calvin College. He has exhibited and performed at venues and galleries within the United States and internationally. Like Cox, Richison employs illustration, animation, sculpture, sound, electronics, creative coding, and performance in his practice.
The center piece of Go Play: Mixed Reality, Abstraction, and the Interpersonal is Cox’s installation of light columns called Are You There?. The cabinets in the piece pulse in patterns as audience members engage with one another using the human-scale interface. As you walk around to the back left of the gallery, you will notice another one of Cox’s explorations with light. A wall of white geometric shapes serve as abstract screens for an interactive projection. The body’s proximity to a set of sensors once again serves as the catalyst for change in the light’s color and saturation. Walking around to the back right of the gallery will put you in the middle of Richison’s custom-built musical looping instrument. Strange wheels of stacked Styrofoam serve as the musical score in an installation that replaces a player piano with old turntables.
Viewers who continue their trek clockwise around to the front of the gallery are invited to into an augmented reality installation constructed by Cox. A set of posters innocently hang in the corner. After following a simple set of instructions, smart phones become a portal into an animated geometric maze jutting out from the two-dimensional designs. Across the front door in the other front corner are Richison’s last two pieces of the exhibit, 38 Games and Any Color You Like. Bright 3D-printed and laser-cut shapes are stuck on the signature magnetic walls of SPECTRE Arts atop a geometric map that invites you to play a game with no rules—or better yet, a game comprised of rules you will need to create on the spot.
This exhibition questions how emerging technologies may be explored through a more personal and experimental lens. Cox and Richison want you to touch and play with the art. The impact of Go Play includes the artistic implications of incorporating newer technologies into studio practice while also expanding the typical use of these technologies through artistic experimentation. All the while, the artists aim to engage with an array of cultural consequences of technologies, in part, by creating social interactions through audience participation with the technologies and with each other.