First interactive computer art installation for Fairbanks

Submitted by Jonathan Drobnis
Phone: 455-3706

04/26/05

Computer electronic artist Jonathan Drobnis will be presenting his Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, Hands On, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Fine Arts Gallery from May 2-13, 2005. A reception will be held on First Friday, May 6, 2005 from 5-8 pm.

The first exhibition of interactive computer art to be held in Fairbanks, Hands On is the result of Drobnis’ undergraduate studies in the UAF Art Department. Hands On embeds elements of computer art within sculptural forms to create interactive environments. For example, the ride-aboard Elevator responds differently to every gallery visitor, as each confronts his own relationships to "hot button" issues in contemporary American society.

During his time at UAF, Drobnis studied electrical engineering for two years, eventually changing his major to art with a concentration in computer art. It is clear that Drobnis' BFA senior show is built on a familiarity with electrically engineered digital technology. Drobnis joins the forefront of tech-savvy artists currently bringing computer skills to the areas of online art, robotics, virtual reality and interactivity. There is an understanding in the art world that such new media makes art of the 21st century as different from art of the 20th century as it is from art of the 19th century.

Hands On will feature four interactive computer art pieces, all based in real-time. Massachusetts-born Drobnis hopes that Hands On is the first of many forays into electronic arts. “I encourage viewers to touch and interact with the artwork. I hope that they will have an experience that they will talk about and remember long after they leave," says Drobnis.