Mary Bates Neubauer

MARY BATES NEUBAUER, Professor and Head of Sculpture, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

1981 - M.F.A. Indiana University, Ford Fellow, Bloomington, Indiana
1973 - B.F.A. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

1996-Present: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Professor, Area Head-Sculpture 2006-Present;
1994-5: Anglia Polytechnic University, (now Anglia-Ruskin University) Cambridge, England, Fulbright Fellow;
1982-96: Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA, Professor, Sculpture,
Dept. Chair 1986-9;
1981-2: The Johnson Atelier Technical Institute for Sculpture, Princeton, NJ, Dept. Head, Chasing.

She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and

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My recent sculptures, prints, and public artworks use information obtained through digital and numerical processes to create visual imagery. Illuminated photograms, laser-scanned images, animations, and rapid prototypes are combined with more traditional casting and replication techniques in artworks that address the natural world as well as the metropolitan environments in which many of us now live. I am interested in contemporary science and its data-gathering methods. My artworks take a new and highly visual look at constantly streaming information about our surroundings. I believe that scientific, numerical, and technical data may be interpreted in a visually compelling manner, and that these new visualizations can aid in a deeper understanding of the world, including its long-term geophysical transformations as well as its daily cycles and rhythms of growth and change.

The surfaces and translucency of my sculptural and virtual artworks give them properties of inner life and animation despite their digitally archived nature, pointing out qualities of inherent spirituality, tactile beauty, and luminosity. While the work retains the touch of the artists’ hand, it also reveals the artifacts of the digital processes through which it has been taken, such as layering, texturing, and rasterization.

Recent research into the visual transcription of numerical data streams involves collecting historical and near-real-time statistics from the various instruments which are constantly recording details of our surroundings, such as climate, solar activity, water levels, traffic flow, energy expenditure, and population flux. Incoming information is translated in several steps, from columns of numbers to 3D visual patterns. Captured and interpreted through video displays as evolving animations, this streaming data is intended to keep the viewer informed with a lively, ongoing sense of the immediate activity and functions of the world. Visualizations of larger historical cycles of events are encapsulated in the form of 3D computer prototypes and prints, as well as larger sculptures. Through this work, viewers are given new ways of seeing previously inaccessible information. The intent is to provide an easily readable way of understanding the living functions of our surroundings through incoming data, formerly only statistically decipherable. This type of inside information can give us a new view of the complexity of our natural and urban environments as functioning entities with hidden, and fascinating, lives of their own.

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