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Connectivity

OCTOBER 26, 2013 – DECEMBER 7, 2013

Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre. Medicine Hat, Alberta

As a craftsman, a clay expert and the Artistic Director of the Shaw International Artist Residency program at Medalta Historical Clay District, Aaron Nelson has a very broad and deep view of making craft today. To create the art in this surprising, smart and fun exhibition he investigated how to mesh sophisticated digital technology with traditional ceramics, and explore ideas about networking and connectivity.

In Connectivity, Aaron’s handmade traditional tea cups, platters, vases and porcelain chandeliers are connected, sometimes by way of their decorative gold luster, with electrical and electronic circuitry, telephones, iPods, generators, light bulbs and audio speakers. The gilded decoration works as a simple circuit board – the surfaces of the ceramics become energized with flowing electrons as they transmit electrical current and data. Visitors are invited to ‘turn on’ and interact with the pieces physically or through their electronic devices.

Elegant and innovative, serious and playful, Nelson’s new work in Connectivity links the richness of craft objects and craft practice to our lives today, through which both digital and communication technologies flow – exploring the connections, both literal and metaphorical, between electronics, communication and craft.