15 March 2018 // 5-7PM

Guest Speaker: Robert Blatt, Composer and Sound Artist

Trapped in the Clouds, Pondering the Night is a multimedia installation exploring turbulence and chaos through environmental and social indicators, inspired by a long fascination of simply staring at the sky and the place of imagination it elicits. The work encourages this imaginative, or even hallucinative state, through a multi-layered approach to augmented reality, multichannel video and audio, field recording, performance, kinetic sculpture and interactivity. The work itself is a pseudo-autonomous environment that still draws upon elements of traditional material aesthetics, such as paper, text, form and composition. The work utilizes 3-d meshes derived from point clouds built from photogrammetry techniques, processed in the cloud, which become volumetric clouds from an assortment of poetically charged objects created and found by the artists. Multiple layers of text are presented in the work, as speech recorded in various outdoor environments alongside an evolving overhead projection of text within the installation, constructed through a process of erasure from the World Meteorological Organization’s International Cloud Atlas. The exhibition is open for the public to drift in and out at will.


ROBERT BLATT is a composer and sound artist whose work is rooted in explorations of expanded sonic situations and the entanglements of sound, space and listening. His practice is experimental and process-driven, using computational, conceptual and psychological strategies. Since 2006, Blatt has created a variety of experimental works utilizing digital sound processing, algorithmic music composition, and the construction of electroacoustic instruments of his own design. Blatt has extensive experience with the SuperCollider programming environment, including numerous performances and installation pieces. Blatt has been supported by residencies including at the Jackstraw New Media Gallery (Seattle) and GEMAK (The Hague, Netherlands). His work has also been presented internationally at Weisslich (London and Manchester), Internationale Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik (Darmstadt, Germany),Het Nutshuis (The Hague), Subtropics (Miami), and the International Computer Music Conference (Huddersfield, UK). Blatt recently received a fellowship from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany.

JON PADEN is an MFA candidate in Visual Arts at UC San Diego, and he leads a collaboration between QI’s Immersive Visualization Lab and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination (also located in the Qualcomm Institute). Since 2014, Paden has worked with computational methods of building interactive, mechatronic artworks – one of which is permanently installed at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. The sculptor and digital media artist’s work crosses artistic boundaries, covering a myriad of materials, techniques and traditions including wood, glass, drawing, painting and technology-driven new media. Programming and algorithms play a central role in the autonomy of Paden’s work. Among his recent works, Paden’s InMemori mixes paper masks and computer vision to build a one-of-a-kind augmented reality artwork that explores digital memorial and how physical objects can be embedded with digital information as memory.


Calit2 Theater, Atkinson Hall / UC San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093

Artists Jon Paden (left) and Robert Blatt created Trapped in the Clouds...
Image is courtesy of the Artists and IDEAS