By Hailee Jeske
On Thursday, February 27, I had the opportunity to attend the Trajectory Series Opening Reception at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. I was very excited to attend this event as I have always wanted to visit the museum. I was able to bring my mom along, and this was also the first time she has been to Villa Terrace.
The building itself is a work of art. Even in the middle of winter, being in the outdoor courtyard made me feel like I was in a European country. It is a hidden treasure that many people only experience from its beautiful view facing Lincoln Memorial Drive. The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is free to the public on the first Wednesday of each month and is only $7 for students every day. It is a short walk from UWM’s Kenilworth Square Apartments.
Christopher Willey, who is the director of the Immersive Media Lab at UWM and lectures on digital arts and culture in the Peck School of the Arts in the Art & Design department, is the organizer and curator of this exhibition. He describes the Trajectory Series as, “seeking to redefine the overburdened word ‘technology’ as a term that describes behaviors. The exhibition looks at the role creative behaviors play in the evolution of technology and reframes systems like language, culture, and the scientific method.”
The exhibition is made up of works by contributing artists Benjamin Bardou, Sandra Byers, Bryan Cera, Alex Chowaniec, Jess Holz, Eduardo Kac, Quinn Madison, A. Bill Miller, Alex Meyers, and Thomas Thwaites. The pieces consist of all different types of mediums including virtual reality, 3-D printed sculptures, charcoal drawings, and even a live petunia that is composed of human genes.
At the opening, Willey talked about his thinking in planning this show. He explained that the research for this exhibition began by looking at disasters in the world. He noticed that technology played some role in these disasters and implored us to take it on as our job to look closely and seek to understand how we move forward together: to use what we have inherited from our ancestors, preserving the technology from the past and to pass our current knowledge on to future generations. Willey explained that for him technology is an action rather than a thing. An act that turns into behaviors and patterns which form systems.
The Trajectory Series is a fantastic exhibit that features the efforts of countless individuals and runs at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum until July 26, 2020.