Laura Fritz/Rick Silva: Encounters

Laura Fritz (b. 1970). Alvarium 2 (detail with video still), 2019. Wood, reflector, video. 72 ½ x 15 x 21 ¾ inches. Image courtesy the artist.

Laura Fritz (Photo credit: Jeff Jahn). 

Still from Rick Silva (American, b. Brazil, 1977). The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future, 2014. Single channel video with sound (running time 11:38). Courtesy the artist.

Rick Silva (Photo courtesy the artist).

Laura Fritz/Rick Silva: Encounters

October 03, 2020 to March 07, 2021

Encounters pairs works by Oregon artists Laura Fritz (b. 1970) of Portland and Rick Silva (b. 1977) of Eugene. Together, Silva’s web-based, audio-visual piece The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future and Fritz’s three-dimensional Alvarium 2 suggest interactions between the natural and the digital worlds, human and animal activity, and knowing and not knowing. Each artist operates in this malleable space, inviting a sense of wonder and further inquiry. How do observation and speculation shape our own understandings of reality? 

Among Laura Fritz’s artistic and philosophical concerns are our present environmental crisis and how human beings process uncertainty. In installations, she uses light, audio and video components, sculpture, and site-specific elements to create momentary encounters with the unknown. Her enigmatic, freestanding work Alvarium 2 provokes this sense of investigative curiosity. By incorporating video footage she captured at the Oregon State University Honey Bee Lab while working with Dr.  Ramesh Sagili, OSU associate professor of apiculture, Fritz manifests the possibility of a living element in this work. 

Rick Silva, who was born in Brazil, is associate professor of art at the University of Oregon. His works envision near-future ecologies altered by technology and climate change. The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future collides the certainty of field guides with the possibilities inherent in multiverse theory. The resulting specimens exist only in a digital world – as far as we know. An accompanying short story by Claire L. Evans is available at https://silvafieldguide.com/TheSilvaFieldGuidetoBirdsofaParallelFuture.pdf.