Artist : Shannon Wright
Exhibit: Number Cruncher
Curated by: Lance M. Fung
Viewing Dates : September 13th – October 18th 2020
(please maintain proper six-foot social distancing while wearing a facial cover)
About the Installation
Since COVID-19 began, numbers have been obfuscated to downplay the severity of the pandemic and to excuse inaction. Number Crunchers is Bay Area sculptor Shannon Wright’s response to the confounding, shape-shifting quality of the data and vital information being delivered to–and withheld from–the public on any given day.
Phrases, whether read or overheard, often inspire ideas for Wright’s work, particularly when they contain complex, nuanced contradictions. “Number crunching,” a catchphrase that epitomizes the contemporary impulse to dominate through quantification, triggered for her an image of scissoring, hinged contraptions. Constructed from a few hundred wooden yardsticks, the sculptural objects in Number Crunchers are inspired by scissor-lift cranes and mechanical linkage systems. Although each structure is presented in a single position, each can be adjusted to expand or shrink. The yardsticks overtly reference “social distancing” tropes, while the layered configurations suggest a cacophony of information and misinformation.
Shock and incredulity are often idea generators for Wright– but she aims to imbue each piece with an elegant internal logic, no matter what the provocation for the piece. While Number Crunchers is a response to chaos and hubris, Wright hopes that the piece will also emanate a mathematical serenity within the glass walls and dappled light of the Art Kiosk.
Number Crunchers was made during the shelter-in-place months of 2020, using processes tailored specifically to the unique limitations of this time.
About the Artist
Shannon Wright is a sculptor and installation artist based in San Jose, California. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Wright grew up chiefly in Sydney, Australia, and then spent her formative years among the iron trestle bridges and turn-of-the-last-century hydroelectric power plants and foundries of Richmond, Virginia. Wright earned her BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her MFA in Time Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a Professor of Spatial Art at San Jose State University.
Shannon Wright has a longstanding fascination with modular systems and articulated connections. In the past decade, she has created her own “ruins” and monuments, in reaction to a society whose mercantile logic never ceases to disorient her. Wright is represented by ADA Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. She has exhibited at Mulherin-Pollard Projects in New York; Untitled Art, Miami, and Scope Miami, New York and London, among other venues. She is a 2016 Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate, and a recipient of a 2019-2020 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Assigned Time Award from San José State
About the Art Kiosk
The Art Kiosk aims to bring thought-provoking installation art to Redwood City and the Bay Area through ten, month-long exhibitions during 2019. Artists from the region and around the world have been invited to realize their ambitious site-specific artworks – often with the assistance of local volunteers, artists, and vendors. The initiative was conceived and curated by Lance M. Fung. Donated project management of the exhibition series is provided by Fung Collaboratives. The Redwood City Improvement Association funded the initiative for the second year of 2020. Redwood City acts as the logistical partner and its Civic Cultural Commission awarded a small grant to support the efforts of participating Redwood City based artists. Please drop by for a visit 24/7 at 2208 Broadway, Redwood City.
For more information, schedule of upcoming exhibitions, artist talks, and all other events please visit www.fungcollaboratives.org
The Art Kiosk is located at 2208 Broadway in Redwood City, CA