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Shohei Katayama
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After School

Teen Summer Workshop Series
Our Mission

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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David Bowen



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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The 50 twigs in this installation point in unison in the direction of the oldest piece of human-made space debris currently above the horizon. The debris being tracked is comprised of spent rocket bodies, parts from defunct satellites, and wayward tools launched in missions as far back as 1958. When the piece of debris being tracked drops below the installation's horizon, the twigs go to a rested downward pointing position and await the next debris to appear. The composition is continually changing as it tracks the oldest discarded objects orbiting the earth that enter its point of view.


Factory Installed: May 20, 2016 - February 12, 2017
About The Artist

David Bowen is a studio artist and educator whose work explores intersections between natural and mechanical systems. With robotics, custom software, sensors, telepresence, and data, Bowen constructs dynamic installations that interface with the physical and virtual world. The devices he constructs often play both the roles of observer and creator, providing mechanical perspectives of dynamic situations and living systems. The relationships he constructs create a dissonance that leads to incalculable, unpredictable, and changeable outcomes. The resulting phenomenological outputs are collaborations between the natural form or function, the mechanism, and the artist.

David Bowen's work has recently been featured in group exhibitions at Eyebeam, NY; Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB); ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; The Cranbrook Museum of Art, Bloomfield Hills; Fundación Telefónica, Madrid; The Seoul Museum of Art; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; Intercommunication Center (ICC), Tokyo; and one person exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Laboratoria Art & Science Center, Moscow; and Vox Populi, Philadelphia. Bowen is a recent recipient of a McKnight Visual Arts Fellowship and in the past has received awards from the Japan Media Arts Festival, Ars Electronica, and the Vida Art and Artificial Life international competition. Bowen is currently an associate professor of Sculpture and Physical Computing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

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