Shotgun Review

In Case You Missed It: Some Math

By Mary Anne Kluth September 10, 2010

Some Math at Johansson Projects features intricate new work by Jill Gallenstein and Jana Flynn. Gallenstein’s biomorphic ink drawings on paper present dense clusters of marks that build upon themselves, like Madelbrot sets, out of points and lines, with hash marks repeated as if counting something innumerable. Silent Spring (2010) depicts an undercurrent of washy yellow-green rings supporting an overgrowth of bulbous, wormy, spiny protuberances both intentionally decorative and chaotic. A Girl Named Peaches (2010) shows an orderly network of tiny round shapes descending from the upper left of the paper, toward the center, where they burst into a frenzied jumble of layered cluster drawings, shooting tiny drawings in all directions like newly born viruses or digital shrapnel. The spaces Gallenstein imagines are subject to their own floating gravity and radial symmetry, suggesting the inner-space of microbiology or the far reaches of the newly born universe.

Flynn’s Outerspace (2010) is a sculptural, site-specific installation made out of red, purple, and white string, attached to the floor and ceiling to delineate concentric, three dimensional cones and curves in the gallery space. As a viewer approaches, moves around, or retreats from the piece, his or her perspective changes, generating chaotic moiré patterns and shifts in color density as the strings apparently intersect or disentangle, though the simple two-dimensional geometric attachment pattern is always visible on the floor and ceiling. 

My Longing For a Uniform Mass (2010) further investigates interactivity by incorporating a contact microphone and a sound system, and requires actual audience manipulation to complete the piece, inviting the comparison to the future of Pythagorean stringed instruments, and filling the gallery with a low humming sound.

Jana Flynn. Sightlines: My Longing for a Uniform Mass, 2010; contact mics, Tacan mixer, stereo receiver, digital reverb, string, 52 x 52 x 30 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Johansson Projects, San Francisco


Some Math was on view at Johansson Projects in Oakland from July 30 to September 11, 2010.

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