Object Lessons: Four Tiny Lectures

Friday, March 30, 8pm
$5 admission

Object Lessons is a one-evening series of tiny lectures based on the objects from the current Proteus exhibition, Object Migration. The exhibition is comprised entirely of objects, each one accompanied by a concise story of the object’s migration through space and time. Object Lessons takes some of these objects and digs deeper into their stories. The object becomes a lense to magnify matter, history and society. The talks will address the story of ornithology in America, nuclear waste since the Bomb, plastics manufacturing, and lastly, an attempt, using statistics, to identify the generic object.

The Objects In Question

Bryan M Wilson will focus on the material, Trinitite, formed in the first nuclear test blast, July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert. He will discuss how it operates as a conceptual vessel and example of human invention interacting on geologic timescales.

Lorena Turner follows the trail of bread tags, the slotted plastic tag used to close plastic bags of bread and other groceries. Patented by Kwiklok Corp in Yakima, Washington, the plastic bag “closures” are big business. Lorena will trace their journey from post-production to your local grocery store.

Sam Droege will trace the lineage of an early 20th century collection of bottles containing the contents of bird stomachs. The bottles come from the first ever foray by the Federal government into the study of migratory birds, who, like criminals, cross state lines, thereby attracting Federal scrutiny. Collected in the 1920’s by scientists to determine which birds were “good” and which were “bad” from an economic point of view, most of these bottles have disappeared with time but a few have turned up at Proteus for further study.

Tatiana Istomina will examine all 50 objects in the exhibition using statistics to discuss the commonalities and differences between various clusters of the objects. She will attempt to build a description of a “typical object” in the Object Show.

Our Speakers:

Sam Droege received an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and a Master’s at the State University of New York – Syracuse. Most of his career has been spent at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the Bioblitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, online identification guides for North American bees, and with Jessica Zelt, reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program.
Tatiana Istomina was born in Irkutsk, Russia, and grew up in Moscow. She holds a PhD in Geophysics (2010) from Yale University and MFA (2011) from Parsons New School. Her art practice includes painting, drawing and video. She participated in group shows in the US and Russia; in 2010 she had a solo show at the Janus Project in Brooklyn, New York. In 2012, she participated in Proteus Gowanus’ Berlin Tunnel Project. She received several awards, including Joan Mitchell foundation award to go to a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2012).

Lorena Turner is a social scientist with a camera. She creates indexes of socialization and contemporary social experience. Her projects are primarily photographic, but contain interviews and video, as well. Her work is shown both nationally and internationally. Lorena received an MFA from the University of Oregon, and teaches photojournalism and documentary studies in the Communication department at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California.

Bryan McGovern Wilson is an artist from Missoula, Montana, whose work addresses themes of time, the body, and ritual. Wilson looks to craft traditions, archaic symbolism, and field research to inform his works about humans interacting with forces greater than themselves. He is a 2012 Creative Glass Center of America Fellow. Wilson lives and works in New York City.