InLight Richmond 2011

A photo essay of selected images from 1708 Gallery’s fourth annual InLight Richmond held on October 21, 2011 with a statement by InLight Richmond juror Matthew Lyons.


photo courtesy of the artist

Peter Fraser, Richmond, VA
(with support from Richmond Cycling Corps and Pedal Power)
Inspiration Generation, 2011, Painted wood, steel, stone, light

Winner of People’s Choice Award

Inspiration Generation is a deconstruct/reconstruct of the river—breaking it down into form and light and then reconstructing in a more formal way. The piece is also a vehicle to convene community, science and art- we have urban youth generating energy, Pedal Power technology engineering the transfer of human energy to light, and the piece as a metaphor of the first power source and the heart of Richmond- the river.


photo by Terry Brown

Brian Davis, Woodbridge, VA
Sightline (2011), 2011, 2-channel projection

Bodies of water form a natural boundary between sides. This divide is one that is ripe with both personal and cultural implications. In a city such as Richmond, and at a site so closely associated with American history, these implications can only be magnified. Sightline (2011) places two eyes opposite each other across the Haxall Canal. Taken from video of an actual conversation, the play of the gazes and the resulting light-bridge evokes a possibility of connection across both physical and conceptual boundaries.


photo by Terry Brown

Kathryn Bell, Baltimore, NY
Ironclads, 2011, 3-channel animation

Tredegar Iron Works produced the two-inch thick plates that covered the CSS Virginia—the first ironclad battleship built for use by the South in the Civil War. The Virginia is best known for its historic encounter with the USS Monitor at the Battle of Hampton Roads, which ended in an anti-climactic stalemate. Neither ship ever fought again—the Virginia was dynamited by her crew to escape capture and the Monitor was lost at sea. The story of the CSS Virginia, while rich in epochal overtones and gallantry, is also poignant and absurd. The monumental conflict, the lack of a clear victor and the vessels’ ignominious end demonstrates the futility of war, the limitations of industry, and the capriciousness of fate.

Ironclads resurrects the ghosts of the great ironclad ships of the Civil War in tribute to Tredegar Iron Works. The ships silently haunt the waterway, gliding in and out of each other’s view, never meeting again after their first (and final) historic encounter.


photo by Terry Brown

InLight Richmond 2011 Comunity Lantern Parade

1708 Gallery’s InLight Richmond 2011 kicked off with the Community Lantern Parade. In the months before InLight, 1708 organized a series of lantern-making workshops that were free and open to all ages and skill levels. Participants in the workshops were invited and encouraged to participate in the Community Lantern Parade.


photo courtesy of the artist

Riley Harmon, Pittsburgh, PA
Trace, 2011, Performance

Winner of Best in Show Award

I am interested in parallel and alternate histories. The site of Tredegar serves as a platform or stage to draw similarities and differences between our past, present, and future. In a sort of stasis, simulation, or eternal rehearsal, the film crew and actors play out the same action over and over.

Two actions take place here—the constant rehearsal of a rescue scenario and the team-building exercise of a trust fall. This is juxtaposed against our past to beg the question of where we are and where we’re going.


photo by Terry Brown

Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza, Detroit, MI
Nervous Structure, 2011, Computer graphics, string, fabric

In Nervous Structure, soft structures illuminated by computer graphics are affected by the motion of viewers. The installation revolves around the idea of interface, which is interpreted as the point of contact between two different entities and is displayed in the work in several ways: between the viewer and the piece (a human/computer interface); between the real and the virtual (the physical structure and its relationship with the projected structure); and between the foreground and background (as the projection interferes with its shadow).


photo by Terry Brown

Aaron Raymer, New York, NY
10,000 Ways That Won’t Work, #7, 2011, Wood, metal, PVC, Halogen, lamp, lens

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. – Thomas Edison

In this body of work I use simple lenses to project familiar yet unidentifiable images. The images are the actual components of the light itself, like filaments, glass bulbs and reflecting panels. This minimal and raw approach strips down everything except for the physical elements of the “light”. The projected images are not quite recognizable reflecting the fact that we never really see the actual light and its structure. We only pay attention to what it produces—its luminosity—overlooking the simplicity and beauty of the apparatus and the history behind its invention.


photo by Terry Brown

Jonathan Lee and Anduin
Sketches of the Lesser Death, 2011, Performance and Installation

An InLight Richmond Performance

A significant part of one’s life is spent asleep, testing scenarios in dreams. The lesser death is the suspension of natural forces, when one’s spirit is transported to another realm. You wake not fully aware of the journey but changed by the experience.


photo by Terry Brown

Jordi Williams, Richmond, VA
Shine n’ Swarm, 2011, Glow-in-the-dark bracelets

Winner of Best in Green Award

A network of glowing circles swims just under the surface of the river. Disrupted by the play of water, each fluorescent ring wavers, becoming in turns blurred and distinct. The grouping at once conjures up bioluminescent sea-life, radioactivity, reflections, and the ephemeral—yet celebratory—nature of the glow-in-the-dark bracelets from which the web is formed.

As a swarm of bioluminescent sea creatures emerges from an arrangement of consumer objects, a fusion is made between real and artificial, natural and man-made. The sense of wonder engendered by a single glow-in-the-dark bracelet is expanded upon by loss of context, repetition, and association with natural phenomena.


photo by Terry Brown

The Medeology Collective, Savannah, GA
Kelley McClung, Alessandro Imperato and James Gladman
Frameworks of Memory, 2011, Video performance

“Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” -Gaston Bachelard, ‘The Poetics of Space’ (1958)

The environments created in and on the structure take the form of a burning house, as well as panoramas of dreams and mindscapes creating a ‘virtual psycho-reality’. Using fire to conjure imagery, we illuminate memories and the past through the live and transitory medium of digital video. The audience may enter and explore the house and its imagery. Cameras create a live feed of those who enter. We reference the burning of Richmond and the survival of Tredegar during the evacuation by the Confederate Army during the Civil War alongside themes of sanctuary, fortress, love, prison and family.


photo by Terry Brown

InLight Richmond 2011 Comunity Lantern Parade

In addition to public lantern-making workshops, 1708 Gallery was pleased to present workshops for a variety of community organizations including The Boys and Girls Club, The Daily Planet, SCAN, CARITAS and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Schools in the Richmond region were also invited to participate through their classes.


photo by Terry Brown

Mea Adams and Logan Dennison, Lexington, KY
Souvenir, 2011, Recycled steel, light, magnets

Souvenir: An object acquired to link the owner to a past experience.

Souvenir is inspired by the phenomenon of Quantum Entanglement—as particles interact, their physical properties join into a single quantum state that is retained at the sub-atomic level even over long distances.

By taking a magnet, each viewer will take with them not only a psychological memory, but a physical memory as well. In addition, the viewer removing the magnet releases the potential physical movement of the light and causes a revelation not only for the one who has removed the stopper, but for all who are to experience the piece from that point on.



The 4th Annual InLight Richmond took place on October 21, 2011 along the banks of the James River and within the remnants of the former Tredegar Iron Works. Beginning in 1837, the iron works operated through the Civil War as well as both World Wars, until production ceased in 1952. The site is now home to the American Civil War Center, the nation’s first museum to interpret the Civil War from Union, Confederate, and African American perspectives. This portion of the river and its banks, stretching from Dominion Resources to MeadWestvaco and the Federal Reserve, is also crisscrossed by various pathways for industrial, commuter, and recreational transportation by ship, car, train, bicycle, or foot.

Being that 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we were so pleased that many of the exhibited artists responded to the unique history of this year’s site and its structures. Thus the movements of people through the landscape, the transportation of goods, human labor and struggle, as well as historical conflict have been picked up as themes in many of the exhibited works. Others projects explore more idiosyncratic or abstract worlds, while some invite interaction or make use of human-powered technologies to generate light. Overall, whether abstract or narrative, 2D or performative, site-responsive or self-reflexive, the artworks of InLight Richmond 2011 demonstrate the breadth and diversity of the ways that light-based media are being utilized by contemporary artists today.

-Matthew Lyons

Curator at The Kitchen, in New York, Matthew Lyons has organized exhibitions by Amy Granat, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Glen Fogel, Vlatka Horvat, Alex Hubbard, Jenny Perlin, Sean Raspet, and Mika Tajima, as well as performances by luciana achugar, Discoteca Flaming Star, Jutta Koether, Aki Onda, Owen Pallett, and robbinschilds, among many others. Past group exhibitions he has co-organized include One Minute More, Just Kick It Till It Breaks, Between Thought and Sound: Graphic Notation in Contemporary Music, and The Future As Disruption at The Kitchen, as well as Dance Dance Revolution at Columbia University. In 2009, he organized the group exhibition Character Generator at Eleven Rivington, NY. His writing has appeared in ASPECT Magazine, Flash Art, Movement Research Performance Journal, and Work the Room: A Handbook of Performance Strategies.

InLight Richmond was originally created to celebrate 1708 Gallery’s 30th anniversary and as a way to give something to the community in honor of this occasion. Thus was born the idea of a one-night, public art exhibition that would offer our community a chance to engage with contemporary art outside the gallery walls. From its conception, InLight Richmond was intended to highlight a particular section of our diverse city offering artists a different environment to which to respond and attracting audiences to unique areas of Richmond.

ext. 1708 is an on-line journal funded through a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which also supports 1708 Gallery’s exhibitions. 1708 Gallery’s mission is to promote new art, a mission achieved via a rotating schedule of exhibitions that presents a diverse range of projects. In relation, 1708 Gallery strives to educate the public about Contemporary art and employs artist talks and didactic text panels to illustrate the exhibiting artist’s issues, themes, and modes of working. In an effort to further expand opportunities for education, this journal features essays, interviews and other writings that provide context for 1708 Gallery’s exhibitions and promote further dialogue about contemporary art. 1708 Gallery works with a range of writers, from graduate students to professional writers, to allow for multiple voices and experiences to contribute to this project.

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