On February 23, two exhibitions opened concurrently at basileIE Gallery in Barrio Logan. In the North Gallery was Mechanics of Desire, “a pop-inspired examination of the persistent power of cash and consumerism.” In the South Gallery, which is separated only by a partial wall, was Sweet Emotions (Just Can’t Get Enough), “a site specific, dynamic interactive light sculpture environment.” The artists, respectively, are Alex Dikowski and Adrian Sierra Garcia.
Before we tell you more about each of the artists and his respective work, take a quick glimpse of the spaces.
Tijuana-based artist-architect Adrian Sierra Garcia’s light sculpture has changed shape depending on where it has been installed, but in every form it has served to convert the space around it. Garcia uses light to communicate “the profound willingness to reach and touch each and every one of us,” regardless of language or distance barriers.
Inside basileIE, he was able to incorporate the ceiling to create a “mesmerizing and immersive” experience for viewers, one that “suspends conceptions of time and space through the universal power of light.” The sculpture is made with 14 custom-designed LED light tubes, built to Garcia’s specifications by the Norwegian engineering firm NullOhm. Upon entering South Gallery and stepping into and through the sculpture, viewers fell silent. Many of them whipped out their phones in an attempt to capture the experience, but ended up standing in the space and taking it all in, long after they pocketed their devices. Garcia is hoping to find a permanent home for this sculpture somewhere in San Diego. His asking price is just under $100,000, quite literally, at $99,999.99.
On the other side of the wall, gallery guests marveled at cold hard cash, all cut up. For his first solo gallery exhibition, Alex Dikowski showed work from his “Attention Economy” series. In a recent interview with Art Guide San Diego, Dikowski explains, “I used to be a technology entrepreneur and spent a lot of my life building software companies. I was fascinated by internet companies who had zero profit, yet had valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars (sometimes billions) – how was that possible? One of my mentors explained to me the concept of “attention economy,” which is the idea that “eyeballs are the new currency.” There is an extremely high value placed on capturing people’s attention. When I dug deeper into the concept, I came across articles and research papers about the dangers of paying too much attention to social media. My series “Attention Economy” is a reaction to that reality, it’s a response to the way humans consume social media.
Also included in this exhibition are six select pieces from Dikowski’s upcoming body of work, “In God We Trust.”
Listen to the artist himself speak about his work while in the midst of creating it:
In addition to his inanimate pieces, Dikowski debuted a performance art piece, “The Endless Pursuit of Digital Eminence,” with the assistance of Adelaide Marcus as The Golden Lady. This character “represents the overly polished and curated social media identities we create for ourselves. She is isolated, desperate, and begging for approval.”
The “IE” in basileIE stands for Ideas and Experiments in Contemporary Art. It is run by long-time partners and collaborators Paul Basile, owner of Basile Studio, and artist/curator C. Martino of CM Curatorial. There will be a “closing reception” on March 11, though the work will be on display through April 1, and Alex Dikowski will be giving an artist talk on March 16. Check with basileIE site for more details.