Friday, November 4, 2011

Project Room Gallery at PMCA

My favorite of all the San Gabriel Valley arts institutions is the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) and today is the first Friday of the month -- meaning I take a slightly longer lunch and visit.  It feels like I've been to this museum a lot when it rains and today is no exception.  The drizzle prevented me from going to the third floor -- where I look at the views of the city I used to call home.  Being in Pasadena, it's no surprise the museum has an installation by JPL visual strategist (more on that title in a bit), Dan Goods in the Project Room Gallery.  This gallery, just across the bookstore, typically greets any visitor to PMCA before they enter the main gallery and from September through January 8, 2012, one can experience what the Juno spacecraft might run into when it reaches the atmosphere of Jupiter.  There is no explanation anywhere in the literature provided that justifies the sensory immersion one experiences inside this simulated Jupiter environment.  However, they provided a steady drone soundtrack within the installation which is part swamp, part computer-generated tones which is interesting but probably contains more sounds than what is actually on the planet.  Which brings me to the title of the person who created this art installation, JPL's visual strategist.  Looking up Mr. Good's bio, he does have an Art Center degree -- yes, that other Pasadena institution up the hill by Linda Vista and I do wonder how he interacts with all those left-brain types at JPL.  I've never seen any successful collaboration between artists and scientists at the working level but I think it would be an extremely cool job to be the visual strategist for a high-visibility lab.  I would probably appreciate the installation more if I was on some mind-altering drug but as an appetizer to the main gallery, which showed the works of Roland Reiss, the Juno  clouds and sounds sufficed.

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