David Bowen - on water

September 19, 2020 – January 2, 2021

This exhibition of work by Mr. Bowen brings together recent and current work all based on water and water data.


Artist Statement

Using intersections between natural and mechanical systems, David Bowen produces unique relationships within his sculpture and installation. With robotics, custom software, sensors, tele-presence and data, he constructs devices and situations that are set in motion to interface with the physical and virtual world. The devices he constructs often play both the roles of observer and creator, providing limited and mechanical perspectives of dynamic situations and living systems. These devices and situations create a dissonance that leads to an incalculable changeable situation resulting in unpredictable outcomes. The phenomenological outputs are collaborations between the natural form or function, the mechanism and the artist.

David Bowen







Listen to David Bowen and curator Christopher Atkins in conversation as they walk through this exhibition.




Visit David Bowen's website


From the September 2 Press Release:

Joseph Nease Gallery is pleased to present on water, a solo exhibition by David Bowen.  The exhibition will feature new and recent works of Bowen’s kinetic, robotic and data driven sculptures using real-time water data and data that Bowen has collected over the past several years.

Bowen will debut two new works for the exhibition. Both based on data collected during his time last summer as an artist at sea aboard the Schmitt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor as it transited across the Pacific. The exhibition will also feature a series of carved acrylic cylinders (pictured above right) of moments captured via drone at a specific location of the surface over Lake Superior near Duluth. And a three-dimensional work using data collected from buoys on the surface of the water all over the world (pictured above left) will depict the changing surface in a matrix of 2500 LED lights in real-time.  David provides our bridge from science to art.

David Bowen is a studio artist and educator whose work explores intersections between natural and mechanical systems. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at Eyebeam, NY; Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB); ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Cranbrook Museum of Art, Bloomfield Hills; Fundación Telefónica, Madrid; Seoul Museum of Art; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; Intercommunication Center (ICC), Tokyo; and one person exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Laboratoria Art & Science Center, Moscow; and Vox Populi, Philadelphia. Bowen is a 2014 recipient of the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and has previously received awards from the Japan Media Arts Festival, Ars Electronica and the Vida Art and Artificial Life international competition. Bowen is currently an associate professor of Sculpture and Physical Computing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new essay by Christopher Atkins, see link below.  And continues the gallery’s interest in presenting top quality multi-media art by artists including Matthew Kluber and Kathy McTavish just in the past year.

Additionally, we present recent paintings and animations by Jonathan Thunder in Gallery A, and projection and sculptural work by James Woodfill in Gallery B.

We look forward to seeing you on September 19.

Update: In fall 2021, David was able to realize one of his pieces in on water ("wilderness") in an expanded scale with funding from the Marine Museum of Art in Winona, MN.  See a bit about that exhibition here.

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