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Artist Spotlight: Jonathan Schipper

Bumbershoot’s Visual Arts feature a full bill of programming designed to showcase contemporary artwork exhibits by local, national, and international artists. Recent past exhibits have included a 12′ diameter neon double rainbow, a survey on the history of Seattle Comix, an improvising marimba playing robot, a Street Art Biennale, an interactive paint-by-numbers installation, and an Elvis Presley themed group show, among many others.

This year’s program includes seven exhibits featuring artists whose work centers on themes of process, creation, and beginnings & endings. Several works feature participatory aspects and invite audience members to create with their own hands.

One of this year’s featured artists, Brooklyn-based sculptor Jonathan Schipper, is known for large pieces that are process-oriented, keeping with this year’s overarching theme. Schipper brings three pieces to the Festival, one of which will debut at Bumbershoot, “detritus we value”. His work centers on the crossroads where biology, engineering, psychology, and art meet, and “detritus” promises to be no exception. The piece will be an artificial and continuously changing environment based on trash, salt, and human will.

Schipper’s two other featured pieces can be viewed as automated art: installations that are engineered and technology-based. In “Measuring Angst,” a mechanism simulates throwing a glass beer bottle across a room, then takes the pieces and reassembles it, in a reverse motion back across the room:

“The Inherent Beauty in a Failed Attempt to Reconstruct” also fits within the same theme of deconstruction and reconstruction. Schipper has smashed a teacup on the floor, and six months later, using a mechanism similar to that of “Measuring Angst”, puts the pieces back together again.

tea cup apart

Other works in this year’s Visual Arts program feature engineered components (The Enigma Machine, Magic Sync), the repositioning of objects (Found and Unbound) and the process of creation (Fashiony, After the Riot). All exhibitions will be on display throughout the Festival, on all three days of Bumbershoot.