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May 23, 2018

World-renowned art and science initiative opening in Detroit

Michigan State University is opening an award-winning global art and science initiative in Detroit on June 16 with a theme that pays homage to the city’s reputation and residents: HUSTLE.

Science Gallery Lab Detroit expands the dynamic network pioneered by Trinity College Dublin and is designed to ignite a passion for art and science in the city’s young adults. Part art gallery, part science lab, part theater, Science Gallery Lab Detroit is the first location of its kind in the Americas. With a $1 million gift from MSU Federal Credit Union, Science Gallery will bring cutting-edge, thought-provoking and interactive exhibits to the area.

Science Gallery Lab Detroit worked with Bedrock, Detroit’s most-active real estate firm, to place the exhibition at 1001 Woodward Ave. directly adjacent to downtown’s Campus Martius Park, a prominent building in Bedrock’s portfolio. HUSTLE will be on display June 16-Aug. 25, and the gallery will be open 1-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; it will be closed on Monday.

“When Science Gallery Lab Detroit was announced, it was described as the ‘innovation engine’ of the Global Science Gallery Network, pushing the boundaries of Science Gallery in experimental, uncommon and creative ways,” said Andrea Bandelli, executive director of Science Gallery International. “In just one year, the Science Gallery Lab Detroit team at Michigan State has produced a fantastic program of events and activities that have raised the bar on what Science Gallery means around the world.”

HUSTLE will continue Science Gallery's commitment to unlock the creative potential of 15- to 25-year-olds by taking emerging research and ideas from the worlds of art, science, design and technology and presenting them in connective, participative and surprising ways.

“More than any other city, Detroit embodies the importance of creativity, design, art and science to redefine the role of universities in a changing urban environment. HUSTLE will be ground for unique learning and engaging opportunities for young adults in Detroit,” Bandelli said.

All forms of hustle involve art, science or a combination of both. HUSTLE is a multimedia exhibition of interactive works and participatory experiences that examine the many definitions of survival and success, purpose and desire. Central to the gallery is “The Hustler’s Lounge,” a space where Detroiters and visitors can sound off, weigh in and share their own notions of hustle. Throughout the course of the exhibition, a public performance series will feature community programs, events and performances by artists, scientists, makers, artisans and hustlers from the community.

More than 15 pieces from around the world will be featured as part of HUSTLE. Exhibits range from living art experiments to virtual reality and address complex topics, such as the future of the human race or the future of work and play.

The following contributors and exhibits for HUSTLE were selected through an open call process; additional commissioned works will be announced closer to the gallery’s opening:

  • Lynn Cazabon, Ecomimesis. Cazabon, originally from Detroit although currently based in Baltimore, has been artist-in-residence and a residency fellow in New York, Poland and Russia. Ecomimesis is a responsive, virtual reality environment containing animate horseweed that allows humans to explore hustle from a plant's perspective.
  • Anna Dumitriu, Hypersymbiotics. Dumitriu is a visual and performance artist based in Brighton, England. Along with sculpture and installations, she specializes in BioArt, and works with microbiology, robotics and artificial life technology. Hypersymbiotics explores the complex interplay between cutting-edge biomedical research, pseudoscience and hype.
  • Benjamin Grosser, Get More. Grosser, based in Illinois, focuses on the cultural, social and political effects of software. He constructs interactive experiences, machines and systems that make the familiar unfamiliar, revealing the ways that software prescribes our behavior and thus, how it changes who we are. Get More is a network-connected installation that explores the idea, and impact, of quantification in social media.
  • Gáspár Hajdu, Virtual Hustle. Hajdu, an artist and programmer from Hungary, is one of the core architects at XORXOR, a team of engineers that creates art and technology installations, and interactive projections for dance and theatrical performances. Virtual Hustle is a participatory piece that explores the human connection between the visitors of the gallery and the disembodied, faceless “Mechanical Turks” of online merchants.
  • Jonathon Keats, Power Plants: Industry 4.0 for Trees. Keats is an experimental philosopher and conceptual artist from New York, based in San Francisco. His current work uses human technology to solve nature’s man-made problems. His work provides a satirical design solution by helping plants find a niche in the hothouse ecology of global capitalism, or exploring what would happen if trees could sell their labor to the energy industry.
  • Sarah Ellen Lundy, 'FeVer [the daily fray]. Lundy is a visual and sound artist based in County Leitrim in West Ireland who works with moving images and performance to explore systems and space. 'FeVer [the daily fray] is self-shot footage, paired with audio, of super worms that come to mimic a busy urban center. It explores in situ the notion of social mobility, personal freedom and the rationality of self-sabotage.
  • Conor McGarrigle, #RiseAndGrind. McGarrigle is a new media artist, researcher and lecturer in Fine Art in the Dublin School of Creative Arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His work spans augmented reality, video installations and net art. #RiseAndGrind is a social media data project that represents the spirit of hustle in imagery derived from scraping data in Twitter.
  • Martín Nadal and César Escudero Andaluz, Bittercoin. Martin is an artist who in recent years has focused on works that look at data, visualization and things like blockchain. Bittercoin at first glance appears to be an old calculator, but upon deeper inspection explores the consequences of creating the world’s most excruciatingly slow Bitcoin mine. Its foundation is the science of cryptography, reflecting on the dream of creating wealth that can be exchanged without being tracked.
  • Gal Nissim and Leslie Ruckman, SurveillAnts. Nissim is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and researcher who creates interactive work that invites the exploration of the dynamic relationship between nature and culture, as found in human-made environments. SurveillAnts was created to capture the patterns and behavior of Red Haverster Ants over time, and to explore connections with large-scale patterns of human labor.
  • Anna Paukova, Eye Work. Paukova teaches at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and is a multidisciplinary anthropologist studying the practices of attention in the modern world. Eye Work is a 60-minute video loop of recorded eye movements and changes in gaze while doing an activity. The documentary narrative of attention shows how information overload in the environment changes human modes of presence.
  • Tarah Rhoda, Blood, Sweat, Tears. Rhoda runs the School of Visual Arts Bio Art Lab in New York as well as bio-material workshops at Genspace, the world’s first community biolab. Blood, Sweat, Tears is an interactive installation that uses samples from the artist’s own body which were recast in a glass teardrop vessel using a molecular gastronomy technique called spherification. When the viewer makes contact with the piece, an air pump activates and causes the teardrop forms to whirl, creating a dancing set of visual shapes that make the metaphor palpable.
  • Agnés Villette and Grégoire Dupond, Betabunker. Villette is an artist, journalist and freelance photographer. Her photography work often focuses on environmental issues and, lately, captures radioactive landscapes. In Beta Bunker, using film animation, she goes subterranean to explore and capture the space of European nuclear bunkers and their tie to disembodied data and the secret places it’s stored.
  • Ottonie von Roeder, Post-Labouratory. Von Roeder is a German artist, working at the intersection of robotics, economics and psychology. Her work is a response to the automation of labor, and the resulting crisis. With Post-Labouratory, she looks at whether crafting a personalized robot could eliminate the necessity to labor, leaving individuals only to do work that satisfies their desires.

Throughout the exhibition, more than 20 Detroit-area mediators, a team of 18- to 25-year-olds passionate about combining art and science, will facilitate the visitor experience. Equal parts provocateur, communicator and tour guide, mediators will lead visitors through a deeper exploration of the HUSTLE experience by sparking conversations and sharing stories.

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