Captivity
Syntax Projects

Justin Wood and Erica Ensminger launch a new curatorial platform, Syntax Projects, with the group show Captivity. The works in this show relate to various experiences and connections that limit or extend the concept of freedom; of the self and of the mind. Boundaries, containers and leashes both real and imagined. Fear, anxiety, social constructs, the reach of government and civilization. At times they are soft, comfortable and ephemeral and other times hard, distressing and physical. They point towards possible futures, focus on contemporary crises and express deep personal histories as they examine the limits we extend or abide by. Captivity brings together a diverse group of emerging and established artists from across the globe featuring new site specific works from Sophia Sobers and Vargas-Suarez Universal in addition to never before shown digital art, paintings and video works.

Artists Include:
Joel Cretan (USA)
Linda Loh (Australia)
Jason McLean (Canada)
Psykosmos (Peru)
Sophia Sobers (USA)
Vargas-Suarez Universal (Mexico / USA)
Lee Wells (USA / Greece)
Justin Wood (USA)

More about Syntax Projects
Syntax was founded to create new kinds of art experiences that push the boundaries of exhibition design and bring together artists of diverse backgrounds, styles and career levels to create a space for new ideas to flourish and cross pollinate.

About the Artists
Joel Cretan is a digital artist and Bay Area native now living in New York City. Computers are deterministic, but their behavior is so complex that it is impossible to anticipate how they will handle all the crazy inputs you can throw at them; this complexity is one reason he enjoys exploring the unexpected results of combining simple and sophisticated algorithms for creating patterns and shapes. Some of his more recent creations reflect the cyberpunk dystopia that the future has turned out to be.

For more information about Joel, visit him online at https://www.laserscorpion.com/gallery.html

Linda Loh is a visual artist living between Melbourne, Australia, and New York City. Her interests align with the ephemeral, elusive nature of experience and perception, and indeed mind itself. Her work has been in solo and group exhibitions around Australia, and in the USA. Solo exhibitions include George Paton Gallery, Melbourne, and First Site Gallery, Melbourne. After her graduation exhibition at RMIT University in 2012, she was curated into an exhibition at Tasma Gallery, Melbourne. That year, she was selected for the Blindside Screen Series exhibition, Melbourne, and in 2015 was a finalist in the Sunshine Coast New Media Award. Her video and projection works have been included in festivals such as the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, and White Night, in Melbourne, as well as Digital Graffiti, Modern Sky and The Cube Project in the USA. In 2013 she undertook a residency in Penang, Malaysia, and in 2018 she completed a 2 month residency in Finland followed by a 3 month residency at NARS in New York City.

For more information about Linda, visit her online at https://lindaloh.com/

Brooklyn-based Canadian artist Jason McLean creates autobiographical imagery, through scavenged objects, and memory mapping. Jason McLean’s diverse art practice includes sculpture, sound works, zines, book works, mixed-media installations, correspondence art, curatorial explorations, puppets, and performance, but he is probably best known for his diaristic mapping and surreal drawings. Inspirations fueling his daily observations are relationships with local and visited environments. His works are often described as mental maps, where samplings of his daily observations are mashed-up into antiheroic, yet poignant combinations. Grounded in family life as Husband and Father, McLean works by using humour to touch upon challenging subject matter, such as sadness, loss, displacement, and economic hardship.

McLean graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver in 1997. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including shows at The National Gallery of Canada, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Loyal Gallery in Malmo Sweden, Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, Franklin Parrish Gallery and ZieherSmith Gallery in New York City. He has work in major collections throughout North America including the Museum of Modern Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Bank of Montreal Collection and the Royal Bank of Canada. McLean is represented by Michael Gibson Gallery in London, Canada, Wilding Cran Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Back Gallery Project, Vancouver, Canada.

For more information about Jason, visit him online at https://jasonmclean.weebly.com/

Psykosmos, created by Andrea Vigil and Nicolas Kouri, is a fusion of their personal projects called Psy and Collagenom. This collective project studies the interaction and change of the elements of the mind and cosmos and thus the unification of the micro and macro cosmos. This project aims to integrate science and spirituality through art, channeling the energy of the inside and the outside world.

For more information about Psykosmos, visit them on Instagram.

Sophia Sobers is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in installations and site specific work. She is interested in investigating the boundaries between science, technology, nature and the spiritual and her work ranges from installation and sculpture to drawing, photography, and digital objects.

Sobers holds an MFA in Digital + Media from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BS in Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She has exhibited her work nationally in institutions such as the Rubin Museum (New York, NY), New Bedford Art Museum (New Bedford, MA), and Westmoreland Museum of American Art (Greensburgh, PA), and has presented her work in solo exhibitions at the University Art Gallery at the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), AS220 Reading Room (Providence, RI) and Find & Form Space (Boston, MA). She has created public art as part of Cherry Blossoms in Winter (Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ), I-195 Redevelopment Commission (Providence, RI), and Alloy Pittsburgh (Rankin, PA) and has been honored to receive numerous commissions and grants, including the Puffin Foundation Grant. Her work has been written about in SciArt Center, E-Squared Magazine, Blouin Artinfo, and the Creators Project.

For more information about Sophia, visit her online at http://sophiasobers.net/

Vargas-Suarez Universal is an artist currently living and working between New York; Texas and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). He was born in Mexico City and raised in the Houston, Texas suburb of Clear Lake City, adjacent to the Johnson Space Center (NASA). From 1991 to 1996 he studied astronomy and art history at the University of Texas at Austin and moved to New York City in 1997. He is primarily known for large-scale murals, paintings, drawings, and sound recordings. He sources American, Russian, European, Canadian and Japanese spaceflight programs, astronomy, and aerospace architecture to create commissioned, studio-based and public artworks for museums, galleries, private and public spaces. Vargas-Suarez has conducted post-studio research at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA; Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL; Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Korolyov (Moscow), Russia; and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. His writings have been published by Right Brain Words, New York; Edizioni Charta, Milano and The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Selected collections include: The Museum of Modern Art Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Dieu Donne Papermill, Inc. Archives (all in New York); Jersey City Museum, NJ; Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, RI; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin,TX; Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy; Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; DA2 (Domus Artium, 2002) Salamanca, Spain; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León, Spain, Winzavod Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow, Russian Federation, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection and the UBS Art Collection.

For more information about Vargas-Suarez, visit him online at http://www.vargassuarezuniversal.com/

Lee Wells is a conceptual artist, independent curator and writer working in New York. His artwork and projects question systems of power and control and have been exhibited internationally, including the 51st Venice Biennale, The Guggenheim Museum, and PS1/MoMA, in addition to numerous festivals, art fairs, and galleries. Wells was most recently invited as an artist and curator for the 1st Mykonos Biennale in Greece and continues to further the dialogue between video and painting to create new ways of thinking.

For more information about Lee, visit him online at https://www.leewells.com/

Justin Wood is a New York City based artist working in the overlap of the digital and physical worlds. His work is built on a conceptual framework derived from the impact of emerging technologies on humankind. His work has been exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the mediums of Projection Mapping, Screen Paintings, Video Sculpture, Painting, Installation, Video Art and Virtual Reality. He holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts (NY) where he studied painting with Jack Whitten, Michael Goldberg and Joanne Greenbaum. His work was featured recently with Wallplay’s OnCanal Series at Spring Break 2018 and Art for Climate Justice, an installation on board the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise. His work has been covered by ArtNews, ArtInfo, Artnet.com, Hyperallergic, Art Nerd, the Miami New Times and The Takeaway (WNYC).

For more information about Justin, visit him online at http://justinwood.us/



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