Mapping Hidden Systems

A Group Exhibition Curated by Taryn Wiens
Victor Maldonado
Stephanie Simek
Jonah Susskind
April 30 - May 24, 2018

Artist Talk and Reception, Thursday May 17, 4:00 - 6:00pm



All three artists imagine, map, and make visible the systems we participate in daily; from socio-cultural structure, to computer circuits, to interstate infrastructure. Using unique methods distinct from traditional cartography, the exhibition draws attention to mapping as communication, what it means to collectively imagine space, and the implications of assigning scalar relationships. The works are tools we can use to chart our position; construct something new as from a blue print or pattern; disrupt a territory; achieve greater agency.


Using a sewing template for a lucha libre mask, Victor Maldonado presents three variations on the mask in surprising scales and materials. By disrupting the function and symbology of the mask, Maldonado redirects it toward a grappling with themes of identity, gender, social spaces, labor, and colonization, and blurs the distinction between map and template.


The sculpture by Stephanie Simek, XOR, AND, NOR (or how to process all possible outcomes for a+b when a and b equals zero or one) addresses what the act of processing information looks like in its most distilled form. Her schematic sculpture of a simple computer reveals materials as their basic functions: graphite as a resistor, copper crystals as conductors, silicon as transistor. The work reveals a new relationship to ubiquitous technology, making the computer both more accessible and more strange.


Jonah Susskind’s work Tertiary Territory takes the form of an immersive suite of images of the interstate system. By overlaying aerial views with views from the road, he reveals a feedback loop between resource extraction sites and their constituent and reciprocal transportation networks, between what is hidden and what is experienced.


This exhibition is co-sponsored by OSU School of Language, Culture, and Society. Additional support comes from the Oregon Arts Commission.