Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Steinkamp has been commissioned by Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, to create Eon, a 30 x 9-foot digital installation. It will be installed in UT Austin’s Welch Hall, a building that’s part of the College of Natural Sciences, and the largest academic building on the campus. Although the official opening is scheduled for September 10, Eon will be visible through Welch Hall’s glass façade (on Speedway) until the building reopens.
Sponsored in part by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Eon is the 45th work acquired by Landmarks, and its fourth digital installation. The works of James Turrell’s The Color Inside, Casey Reas’ A Mathematical Theory of Communication, and Ben Rubin’s And That’s The Way It Is, are also in Landmarks’ collection.
Steinkamp is widely credited as a pioneering digital artist; her computer-generated environments explore architecture, nature, and the passage of time. In Texas, Steinkamp’s work has been seen most recently in Jennifer Steinkamp: The Seasons at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (January 2019), and Womb, at Talley Dunn Gallery in Dallas (October 2019). Steinkamp’s immersive installations “transform the spaces in which they are sited into hyperreal, simulated natural worlds that blur the line between biological and virtual.”
Eon‘s inspiration is taken from the biological concept of symbiosis. Via Landmarks: “In Steinkamp’s installation, biomorphic shapes undulate across the screen, punctuating an aqueous backdrop with bursts of pink, yellow, and multicolored fragments.”
“Jennifer Steinkamp is singular in her ability to harness technology,” states Andrée Bober, Director of Landmarks. “She’s a master of digital media and her installations make us think about our relationship to nature in entrancing ways.”
For more details about Landmarks and the acquisition of Steinkamp’s work, please visit the Landmark’s website here.
Landmarks will host a virtual opening for the project on September 10 at 4:30 PM CST, with a live-streamed Q & A with Steinkamp, Landmarks director Andrée Bober, College of Natural Sciences Dean Paul M. Goldbart, and curatorial contributor Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts at SF MOMA. Other online resources will include an audio guide, essay by Frieling, a virtual tour of the installation, as well as activity guides for children and adults.