Electronic Pacific Opening features Live Tattoos, Performance & Film Screening

What: Electronic Pacific Opening Reception

When:  Opening reception Thursday, July 11, 6–9pm. Exhibition July 12–August 17, 2013. Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12–7pm, and Saturday 12–5pm.

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: Free admission.

SOMArts Cultural Center presents Electronic Pacific, a group visual art exhibition that investigates the liminal spaces of language translation, digital communication as a visual art medium, and trans-oceanic cultural exchange. Local and international artists with connections to the Pacific Rim transform shipping containers into installation spaces to showcase time-based media and electronic communications as transitional cultural space. These containers symbolize the mercantile routes that have defined intercultural exchange around the Pacific for many years, as well as the way culture is conveyed, packaged, and disseminated.

The opening reception features several special opportunities to engage with the projects of exhibiting artists:

Get A Tattoo (Temporary or Permanent)
Samoan visual artist Vaimaila Urale traces family and cultural roots in the production of new media artwork.  “Typeface,” a tattoo project, utilizes the history of traditional tattoo iconography to create all new text-based Polynesian inspired tattoos transposed into digital interactive artwork. Urale will design a set of real tattoos for the public both permanent and temporary.  The tattoo will be based on non-letter computer keyboard symbols such as forward and back slashes, parentheses and the like to create a rhythmic visual pattern that references classic tribal tattoos, but lands the aesthetics of this piece in the contemporary moment of the digital age.

The artist, who is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand, will also be connected to the gallery via Skype for a short artist talk and Q&A session about this piece at 6:45pm.

The first person who emails gallery@somarts.org with the subject line “Tattoo” will receive the first free permanent tattoo of Urale’s design at 7pm during the opening.  After that, tattoos will be given on a first come, first-served basis in the gallery according to an on-site waiting list. Tattooing takes place from 7–9pm.  Anyone remaining on the waiting list at 9pm will not receive a tattoo.  All tattoos will be given publicly in the gallery by local tattoo artist Sam McWilliams. Stick-on tattoos will also be available for adults and children alike.

Paint a Rock
Artist An Xiao, who draws ties between the movement and storytelling in the Lascaux cave paintings and the .gif, will facilitate an audience-participatory installation “Grotte de l’Internetz” from 6–9pm in which popular memes and internet images are translated into stencils and painted on rocks.

See A Film
The opening reception features a special screening of a 14-minute documentary featuring 9 Chinese painters. Artist Lizabeth Eva Rossof communicates extensively through email and digital images with painters working in the replica production, commission and decorative painting industry in Xiamen, China, who produce her work. On display in the exhibition will be a series of 9, salon-style self-portraits in oil of each of the Xiamen artists commissioned by Rossof. Since many of these artists had never utilized their photo-realistic painting skills to create a self-portraits, the novel request forces the artists to grapple with new forms of representation and stylization, and to question the identity politics of the self. The screening begins at 6pm and repeats every half hour until 9pm.

Absorb Healing Sound
In collaboration with Winstermain Medical Research Labs™ and the Institute for Acoustic Sonic Healing, exhibiting artist Guillermo Galindo aka gal*in_dog will conduct an interactive psychoacoustic medical trial at 7pm of a new therapy meant to integrate the human voice to resonate with enclosed acoustic spaces through vocal release using Electronic Resonance Technology ® .

Pictured: “Commissioned self-portrait of Jiang Shan Peng” by Lizabeth Eva Rossof