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Andrea Peña
States of Transmutation
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Asim Waqif
Assume the Risk
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Shohei Katayama
As Below, So Above
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Doreen Chan
HalfDream: Another Room
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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Karina Smigla-Bobinski



This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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ADA is a self-forming, under-destruction, visitor-animated, creatively-acting artist-sculpture, a post-industrial "creature" resembling a molecular hybrid, such as those found in nano-biotechnology.

Filled up with helium, and floating freely in the gallery, ADA is a transparent, membrane-like globe spiked with charcoals that leave marks on the walls, ceilings, and floors. The globe is put in action by visitors, fabricated in open space, a composition of lines and points that remain incalculable in their intensity and expression. However hard a visitor tries to control ADA, drive her, to domesticate her, they will soon discover that ADA is an independent viral performer, studding the originally white walls with drawings and signs. More and more complicated fabric structures arise. It is a movement experienced visually, which like a computer, makes an unforeseeable output after entering a command.

Not in vain, ADA reminds one of Ada Lovelace, who, together with Charles Babbage, developed the very first prototype of a computer in the nineteenth century. A symbiosis between mathematics and the romantic legacy of her father, Lord Byron, emerged there. Ada Lovelace intended to create a machine that would be able to create works of art, such as poetry, music, or pictures. ADA stands in this very tradition, along with Vannevar Bush, who built Memex Machine ("We wanted the memex to behave like the intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain"), and Jacquard's loom, which needed a punch card in order to weave flowers and leaves.

And still, ADA's work is unmistakably humane, because the only available decoding method for these signs and drawings are the associations our brains create when they sleep: the truculent jazziness of our dreams.

Curated by Adam Welch


Artists in Residence: September 21, 2018 - July 28, 2019
About The Artist

Karina Smigla-Bobinski is an intermedia artist based in Munich, Germany. Her work bridges kinetic art, drawing, video, installation, painting, performance, and sculpture. She studied art and visual communication at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland, and Munich, Germany, and recently was a Visiting Research Fellow at Bielefeld University's Institute for Advanced Study. Her work has been shown in 45 countries across 5 continents.

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