Rule 42, Stretched Language
November 6 – December 3, 2021
The Bonita Museum and Cultural Center (BMCC) presents the world as explained and examined through mathematical equations and language in the exhibition titled Rule 42: S t r e t c h e d L a n g u a g e : Explorations into Visual and Mathematical Poetry, November 6 – December 3, 2021. The exhibition curated by Vallo Riberto features evocative symbols that explore our human language as a method for examining the world. A public reception will be on Saturday, November 6 from 4:30 – 7:30PM. Opening reception with artists. Spoken word performances at 5:30pm with Rosa Sandoval, Gerda Govine, and performance by Alex Caldiero.
What is Rule 42?
Curator Vallo Riberto: Rule 42 Is a reference to “TheHunting of the Snark” page 18, by Lewis Carroll, best known for Alice in Wonderland, but lesser known for his visual poetry with works like the ‘Mouse’s Tale.’ The number 42 also became well known as the ‘Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything,’ from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
Artists in the exhibition include Kazmier Maslanka, Alex Caldiero, Douglas McCulloh, John Dillemuth, Kristine Diekman, Lisa Mansfield, Liz Waugh McManus, Paul Gailiunas, john Halaka, Karl Kempton, Alexander Kohnke,Trinh Mai, Gustavo Mayoral, Taly Oehler, Toru Nakatani, Allison Weise, db Foster, Harry Polkinhorn , Avital Oehler, and David Quattrociocchi. Spoken word performances by Gerda Govine and Rosa Sandoval. Rule 42 flyer
Featured South Bay San Diego artist Kaz Maslanka’s artwork Psychronometrics, is a conceptual and interactive piece written on a TSR80 in BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language in 1983. This participatory piece invites visitors to explore the nature of time distorted through an equation combining psychology, chronology of time, velocity and light. light box based artworks present poetry and mathematical meditations on current psychronometric studies. These pieces allow for light-based meditations on equations, including physical and digital reflections on the meaning and human connection to light, symbols and visual based equations. Kaz, “These constructions bring a linguistic richness to subjects that normally would not use mathematics as a language, such as popular culture, poetics and spirituality.” Maslanka has a BFA in sculpture from Wichita State University and is an international engineering consultant in the aerospace industry, working in CATIA, a software used to design aerospace tools including the machines that build airplane parts.
On Sat. Nov. 13 artist Kaz will lead a Similar Triangle Poems workshop introducing a system for creating mathematical poetry. Participants can create their own math-based poetry using Maslanka’s system during the workshop. See Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/similar-triangle-poems-workshop-with-artist-kaz-maslanka-tickets-173904241267
Curator Vallo Riberto attended Yale University, Graduate School of Art and Architecture; Notre Dame University, School of Art and Humanities; Special Studies with architect Charles Moore; On-site environmental design project with architect Charles Moore. Vallo is a retired art educator and college art gallery director of Southwestern College. He continues to curate exhibitions for Southern California venues.
Curator Riberto: This exhibition is an intellectually challenging exploration into Visual/Concrete and Mathematical Poetry, forcing us to rethink how language can be used. A visual text art work may be defined simply as any art work with text or a gesture of it or its kin, such as icon-graphics, composed or designed to be read and seen for the complete experience. The individual poet or artist works in a field of multimedia, and poly-aesthetics that often blurs boundaries, composing seamless works of fusion. While many outside the literary arts fuse compositional elements with language and/or its fragmented parts, their art is generally called painting, sculpture, etc. Visual text art may be considered an umbrella term embracing types such as visual poetry (with its many subtypes such as concrete poetry, ideogram and calligram and mathematical visual poetry), word painting, abstract calligraphy, mathematical poetry (with its own variety of sub-types), abstract writing (known as asemic writing), and many others.
Wendy Wilson-Gibson, director of the Bonita Museum: I fell in love with the power of equations and symbolic language to communicate after a class in basic programming on a TSR80 in high school. At that time you could not ‘buy’ computer programs. Every program needed to be written, hand written, and typed into a computer. The progression from writing programs to handwritten equations helped me to make rational sense of an irrational and emotional world. Computer programming languages of the early 80’s led a generation of artists into the postmodern obsession with semiotics and signs, signifiers and the signified. There is humor and insight at the intersection of symbols and personal meanings. It is okay to laugh at how we as humans construct meaning. In 1988, when studying art theory with artist Charles Gaines, our main prompts were pleasure points revolving around deconstructing and constructing systems of meaning and I like this quote. Charles Gaines, Ultimately, meaning is going to be produced because of our cultural knowledge. The role of the spectator becomes very significant in that process. -Artnews, Pat Pobric article 2/16/2021
Viewers are invited to explore their own personal interpretations and expressions during the exhibition. The museum is free to the public and open Wednesday thru Saturday from 10am to 4pm. It is located at 4355 Bonita Road, Bonita CA. 91902. Please see the website for more information: www.bonitahistoricalsociety.org
All Wars installation by Douglas McCulloh