The series of Robot Heads, symbols of new and future technology, also nod to the past as they were created out of porcelain, metallic luster, and glass—materials that are reminiscent of an era of careful craftsmanship. They express both anxiety about our speed of progression into the future, and optimism that beauty can be found there.
The central piece for this exhibition is the Campfire Machine installation. It consists of a Campfire sculpture with logs and a glowing flame that is “plugged in” with electric cord to the Machine. This machine structure resembles a TV or computer monitor stacked on top of large geometric blocks. The monitor displays a flickering fire image as it attempts to imitate the movements of a flame. It seems that the machine is trying to understand the nature of the campfire—its purpose, materials, and how it works. Fire was one of humanity’s earliest and greatest telecommunications inventions, changing history by allowing humans to communicate with smoke signals, and thus migrate, expand and thrive. The Campfire Machine installation draws a relationship between this symbol of ancient innovation and the modern day progression of computer science and artificial intelligence.
Emily Counts lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She has a BFA from the California College of the Arts, and also studied at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin, Germany. Counts has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. In 2012 she received grants from both the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation.
An opening reception for Emily Counts will take place on Saturday, May 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The exhibition will remain on view until June 16, 2012.