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You wake up knowing that the coffee maker has already brewed a fresh pot just the way you like it. You drive through unfamiliar parts of town trusting that the GPS on your dashboard has a better sense of direction than you. You go to sleep with absolute faith that your smart phone’s alarm clock will get you out of bed in time.
Technology has inspired us to set-it-and-forget it, to let go of control, and the Lexington Art League’s latest exhibition, Scripts & Systems, puts the lens on how that technology has changed the way artists make art.
“Technologies like smart phones, computers, and digital cameras have changed all of our lives in a way none of us could have anticipated back in 1980s, when what we now consider an antiquated computer was named Machine of the Year by Time Magazine,” said Stephanie Harris, Lexington Art League’s executive director. “In the art world, the impact on the creative process is even more extraordinary. Scripts & Systems features techniques and trends born out of technological advances and shows how the capabilities of machines have revolutionized the potential of creativity.”
Scripts & Systems, which opens May 24 with a reception from 6-9p.m., features work from 25 artists from 13 states, Great Britain, and Korea and includes sculpture, mixed media, drawing, video, collage, illustration, painting, and performance pieces. A highlight of the exhibition is an interactive piece created by Lexington artists and technologists John Meister and Richie Hoagland that is inspired by the original video game Pong.
“With Scripts & Systems, we acknowledge the thin line between ourselves and our machines and evaluate the processes and algorithms we humans have adopted to attain the efficiency of technology,” said Charlie Campbell, Scripts & Systems curator and art director at the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences. “This exhibition focuses on the intersection of creativity and technology and showcases the interesting result of giving up control to something outside of but very much an influencer of yourself.”
Campbell will moderate a discussion with artists from the exhibition on June 5 at 7pm at LAL at the Loudoun House; lively conversation is encouraged at this free event.
On July 7 at 1pm, LAL will host a show-and-tell with artists from Collexion, a Lexington hackerspace known for developing technology that supports the creation of art. Attendees will get to see a live demonstration of the Makerbot Thing-o-matic as well as other art-inspired technology projects.
“Scripts & Systems is an exhibition unlike any other that LAL has done,” said Becky Alley, exhibitions and programs director at LAL. “We have become so enmeshed with technology that we barely recognize where it ends and where we begin. This exhibition offers a moment of pause to appreciate the effect of technology on our lives and acknowledge its impact on our humanity.”
For more information about this or any LAL event or exhibition, visit
Upcoming LAL Exhibitions
LAL at Loudoun House – Scripts & Systems examines the algorithms, plots, and plans we have created to support our “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to life. It is about letting go of control, even in our creative lives, and giving in to following scripts. Curated by Charlie Campbell, art director at the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, the exhibition is open May 24-July 15.
LAL Project Space – Artists Megan Kelley and Lindsey Bailey, from Tennessee and Texas respectively, recreate LAL Project Space with Campfire Tales: A Collaborative Storytelling Experience. This interactive, theatrical art piece encourages viewers to share tales by writing, drawing, acting out, or recording their personal stories within a playful and unique setting inspired by the campfire circle. The installation is open May 24-July 15.
LAL at Christ Church Cathedral – Side by Side, an award-winning program sponsored by VSA Kentucky and produced in partnership with Lexington Hearing & Speech Center, engages children with disabilities in the visual arts. Led by Melody Bock-Freeman, the students of Side by Side collaborate with mentoring artists to produce a work of art to be exhibited alongside artwork created the adult artist. The exhibition is open June 15-August 1.
From Lexington Art League