New alt_space Exhibition in September August 17 2021

Chemical Delusion

September 4 - October 16 , 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 4, 4 - 7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, October 8, 11 AM

Robert C Beck, Photosynthetic Image Generator, vertical process tank, 16 x 20 x 30 inches
Robert C Beck, W.T.F. Interference, P.I.G. image plate – kiln formed glass, 17 x 18.5 inches
Robert C Beck, Wave, Temperature, and Frequency (W.T.F.) Interference, cyanobacteria, microorganisms, water, synthetic felt

About the Exhibition

Central Florida artist Robert C Beck is back for his second alt_space installation at Arts on Douglas. In this exhibition, titled Chemical Delusion, Beck explores a broad range of naturalistic subjects. The works span fifteen plus years of painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture that are shaped by his research, experiments, and observations of biological systems.

In the center of the gallery, Beck presents an experimental device that he created to generate imagery from photosynthetic organisms. Given the acronym P.I.G. (Photosynthetic Image Generation), this recirculating water system exposes photosynthetic aquatic bacteria to light through fused layers of glass, much like a film negative. Through the course of the display, Beck will periodically manage and monitor the device, take notes, and ensure that the conditions are correct. Elaborating on the process, Beck explains, “The bacteria grow inside transparent bio-reaction cells formed by negative spaces in the high-relief style fused glass plates. While not exactly an instant snapshot, an image is created from the millions of photosynthetic organisms living together in symbiosis.” A collection of watercolor paintings that Beck has created to visually chronicle his experiments and observations will also be included as part of this display alongside earlier artwork exploring interrelated themes.

Overall, this exhibition was inspired by the exploration of a range of concepts, processes, and materials that form the foundation of Beck’s experimental approach to alternative media and biological art. Through observation and interaction with visible and invisible biological systems, he seeks to create an open dialogue about shared resources and how communities work together symbiotically. As he summarizes in his exhibition statement, “The environmental disasters we face as planetary biodiversity shrinks is a result of being caught in the feedback loop of this delusional existence. However, it’s possible to interrupt these cycles and turn destructive feedback loops into symbiotic ones. The works in this exhibit are intended to generate alternative perspectives and tools that are beneficial to regenerative interactions. While I’m only one of 7.8 billion people living on Earth today, I believe that it’s possible to make changes in my life that can impact the global systems to help support life on this planet and I’m starting with my own Chemical Delusion.”

About the Artist

Robert C Beck is a multidisciplinary visual artist working with biological media and technology to create dynamic installations of living art. He studied printmaking at Rollins College, and was a master printer for the University of Central Florida's fine arts press, Flying Horse Editions. His work is exhibited nationally, and appears in the collections of the Museum of American Glass, the Morse Museum of American Art, and the Orlando Museum of Art.

He is cofounder of studioHydrostatic, a collaborative biological art research duo focusing on human-centric ecology and its role within symbiotic ecosystems. His work currently focuses on the research and development of alternative biological art processes by hybridizing the traditional mediums of glassmaking, printmaking, and painting with biology.