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Visual Culture Seminar

Thursday, June 1, 2023
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
Sun Potentials: Creative Research with Solar Power
Alex Nathanson, Founder of Solar Power for Artists/ RPI & NYU,
Huntrezz Janos, Artist (LA),
  • Public Event

In the face of climate crisis, a growing number of artists and designers have been experimenting with incorporating solar power and other environmentally-informed methods into their creative practice. In A History of Solar Power Art and Design, Alex Nathanson examines the lineage of creative applications of photovoltaic (PV) solar power. In this talk, Nathanson will introduce research on solar sound art, wearable technology, public art, industrial design, and digital media. Huntrezz Jånos is currently building EXTRATERRACETRILL, an off-grid infrastructure project that uses atmospheric water generation, solar panels, and other eco-technologies to support a BIPOC, Queer, and artist community in the heart of Los Angeles. János will present this project in the context of her creative work.

Alex Nathanson is a designer, technologist, artist, and educator. His work is primarily focused on exploring both the experimental and practical applications of sustainable energy technologies. He is the founder and lead designer of the education and art platform Solar Power for Artists and its partner studio, Energy Transition Design LLC. The mission of both organizations is to make sustainable energy accessible, tactile, and understandable. As a solar power designer, he has created interactive and educational projects for the Climate Museum, Solar One, and the NYC Department of Education. In collaboration with Tega Brain and Bennedetta Piantella, he co-created the Solar Protocol project. His book A History of Solar Power Art and Design was published by Routledge in 2021, and the paperback version will be released in May 2023.

Huntrezz János is a boundary-breaking Afro-Hungarian Transcorporealist woman whose work spans across mediums including architectural construction and installation, augmented and virtual realities, painting, sculpture, performance, and poetry, to name a few. János uses sharp renders, digital simulations, and anarchic vaporwave aesthetics to explore the layered nature of identity and the lived experiences of systemic oppression and exclusion. Janos uses her work to challenge preconceived notions surrounding identity, community, social infrastructure, and the intersectionality of her experiences. With her own multidimensional digital creations, Janos introduces fantastic and until recently, impossible virtual realities to 'natural' physical space.

The Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture, which is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), features new undergraduate course offerings, guest lecturers, and other programming to foster conversations between humanists and scientists. Its activities are organized by HSS and other Caltech faculty in collaboration with scholars at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Fran Tise a [email protected].