Installation artist, Robert Wise, speaks in Art Now, March 25 Recital Hall at 12 noon

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 6:00am - 7:00am
Event Location: 
Recital Hall 12:00 noon March 25, 2009

"In his youth Robert Wise enjoyed an exuberant involvement with the visionary ideas of popular science. Unfettered (and unsupervised) experimentation with chemistry and mechanics ultimately led to a professional career with the TRIUMF particle accelerator at the University ofBritish Columbia. The technology involved with research is exciting and apparent but the technology of every day living is naturalized and invisible. This blithe acceptance of technology became problematic for Wise as he questioned the ambiguous dialectic between utility and control. While traveling he experienced an “epiphany” about the essential nature of technology which caused him to “fall out of love with ‘Big Science”’. Abandoning his engineering career, Wise eventually found his way to the Visual Arts Program at the University of Victoria where he was deeply influenced by sculptors, Mowry Baden and Roland Brener. Over the past decade Wise has established himself as a unique figure within the west coast sculpture scene through a series of interactive, mechanically sophisticated machines. Wise creates playful objects that continue his exploration of our complex liaison with technology while compelling investigation and contemplation from their viewers. During the last few years his sculpture practice has expanded from the production of autonomous objects intended for the gallery to social interventions on the street. Responding to observed behaviour  from his apartment, situated above a storefront in a busy industrial neighbourhood, he created “Convenience Apparatus “ –a self deploying umbrella, ash tray and drink holder. This work set the stage for his most recent and ambitious project, “The Office”, a collaboration  with local sex trade workers. This work transgresses disciplinary boundaries between sculpture, sociology, urban design, law, politics, to name a few and points to a more holistic practice engaged with the community."

Robert Wise earned a MA Soc.-Sci. , University of Victoria in 2008, MA course work, Phil.-Psyc. University of Victoria in 1998, BFA Honours, Sculpture, University of Victoria, 1990, Drawing and Painting, Diploma , Mechanical Engineering,  B.C.I.T. He has had solo exhibitions including: Floor Sanding Fantasies,  Deluge Gallery, Victoria, BC, 2006; Dynaflow, Confederation Centre, Charlottetown, PEI, 2004; Dynaflow, Maclaren Art Centre, Barrie, ONT, 2004; Dynaflow, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC, 2003; and Robert Wise, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, BC, 1999. Selected Group Exhibitions include: Assume Nothing, new social practice,AGGV Victoria, B.C., 2009; Deluge Gallery, Victoria, BC, 2005;  R.P.M, Deluge Gallery, Victoria, BC, 2005; Dashboard Jesus with Monkey’s Fist, Pod Gallery, New York, NY, 2005; Building Collaborations, SARC Gallery, Victoria, BC, 2001; and To Remain at a Distance, Open Space, Victoria, BC, 1999. Public art including: Roulette, Victoria International Airport, Sidney, BC, 2002; Mollie’s Original, City of Victoria, Victoria, BC, 2002; Zebra, Pearkes Arena, Municipality of Saanich, Victoria, BC, 1999; and Sussex Place, Sussex Place, Victoria BC, 1995.