Nocturnal Suns

Nocturnal Suns is an exhibition of four faculty members from the UT School of Art.

UT Downtown Gallery

106 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

December 1, 2017 – January 6, 2018

The Warp Whistle Project is humbled to be in such good company!

Emily Ward Bivens is an Associate Professor of 4D arts and Time-Based Art at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her MFA from The University of Colorado, Boulder in 2004. Bivens uses found and made objects to forge narratives, provoke or encourage interaction, and reveal fictional and non-fictional mysteries. These objects shift from prop to subject to evidence when used in performance, video, and installation. Characters or identities are created to act as subjects, authors, inventors, and curators of the work.

John C. Kelley is an Assistant Professor of 4D and Time-Based Arts at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. His video work has screened domestically at venues such as The Mid-America Arts Alliance (Kansas City, MO), the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, AR) the Arizona International Film Festival (Tucson, AZ), The Front (New Orleans, LA), the Index Art Center (Newark, NJ), Living Arts (Tulsa, OK), internationally in cities such as London, Moscow, Berlin, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Edinburgh, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and others. Kelley has written original music for award winning feature length narrative and documentary films through Gray Picture in St. Louis, MO, released music as a solo artist through King Electric Records in Austin, TX, and has appeared on more than 25 recordings and albums

John Douglas Powers studied art history at Vanderbilt University and earned his MFA in sculpture, with distinction, at The University of Georgia. His work has been featured in The New York Times, World Sculpture News, Sculpture Magazine, Art Forum, The Huffington Post, Art in America, The Boston Globe and on CBS News Sunday Morning. He is the recipient of the 2013 Virginia A. Groot Foundation Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant as well as a Southeastern College Art Conference Individual Artist Fellowship, an Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship, and the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award. Powers currently lives and works in Knoxville, Tennessee and is Assistant Professor of Sculpture at The University of Tennessee.

The Navigator

The Warp Whistle Project is working hard on a cross-disciplinary performance piece that will debut on January 21st at the Caplan Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Commissioned by the Network for New MusicThe Navigator will feature performers from the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. 

Special thanks to the University of the Arts School of Music and School of Theater for aiding in the facilitation of set design/construction, lighting, sound design, interactive electronics, documentation, and promotion. 

 From Asa Smith's  Illustrated Astronomy , 1848

From Asa Smith's Illustrated Astronomy, 1848

About the work

The Navigator is a hybrid work of art: a staged collision of sonic and visual information.  The visual components are inspired by Asa Smith’s 19th century astronomical illustrations: outdated planetary charts that served a didactic purpose for his readers. Additional source materials include 1950s science fiction stage sets, clock parts, and mythological scientific instruments. Tensions between the hand-made and the mechanical, illusion and artifice, and function and futility, positions The Navigator as an amalgamation of past representations of ideological futures. Similar to make-believe, the viewer is consumed by an experience on the verge of rupture.  

As The Navigator performs its various functions, its true purpose remains enigmatic.  While every journey has a destination, The Navigator’s priority is the voyage.  In “Wind Up”, the music is energetic and intricate, influenced by strains of minimalism, yet the question of mechanical malfunction begins early on as kinks enter into the clockwork precision.  “Unlock” is an hypnotic journey through nocturnal spaces - pointillistic starbursts of sound map a course out of the darkness and into the light.  In the final leg, once a tenuous signal is established, The Navigator is ready to “Transmit” to its final destination.

In context

In day to day life, we put the material world to use: cars, coffee makers, and cell phones, to name a few.  These objects are typically defined by the unique purpose they serve: cars take us places, coffee makers fuel the morning routine, and cellphones . . . do most of the rest.  However, philosophers have argued that we never truly see these objects for what they actually are until they break. A broken cellphone no longer able to serve any of its myriad purposes, can be seen for what it truly is: a chocolate-bar-sized piece of glass and aluminum housing an intricate array of precious metals and circuit boards.  Without a purpose, the object’s techne is revealed.  

Historically, art objects have served the purpose of glorifying the spiritual, entertaining the masses, and representing ideals of truth, beauty, and power. . In the early years of the 20th century, with the wheels of modernity in full swing, the purpose, appearance, and function of western art was set on a new course. No longer fixated on mimesis, artists began working in opposition to the dominant trend that art should copy nature. As The Navigator charts its own 21st century voyage, its destination remains a question and, in doing so, imparts something else about its true nature.

From the Network for New Music:

You won’t want to miss this unique, cross-disciplinary performance, where you will hear and see "The Navigator", a new multi-media work by composer Paul Schuette and visual artist Mary Laube, side-by-side in U. of Arts state-of-the-art black box theater. The Network Ensemble will also respond to iconic graphic scores by William Kraft and Gyorgy Ligeti/Rainer Wehinger.

Advance ticket sales: $20 Regular/15 senior/10 student (at the door; $25/20/10)
University of the Arts students and faculty FREE ADMISSION



Great Lakes Drawing Biennial

I have three drawings from the Mythos series included in the 2017 Great Lakes Drawing Biennial at Eastern Michigan University. My work was also selected for the 2nd prize award. 

This exhibition of artists nationwide highlights current artistic activity in contemporary drawing. Juried by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator at the Drawing Center, New York. 

Stiwdeo Maelor

Here are some photos from my recent residency at Stiwdeo Maelor in Wales. Thank you Veronica Calarco for creating such a wonderful gem!  

I fit all of my materials in a shoe box - scissors, glue, paper, and watercolors. I spent my time making small watercolor collages, sketching, writing, reading, and walking. My plan is to develop this project into a series of small paintings on panel.  My two week residency flew by and the collages were very time intensive. I spent the last two days snapping photos and making sketches so that I could return home with plenty of information. 

Residency at Stiwdeo Maelor

I am excited to announce that I will be working at Stiwdeo Maelor this summer for two weeks. The residency is located in Corris, a small village in North Wales. 

Stiwdio Maelor was established in July 2014 by Australian artist Veronica Calarco to provide residency opportunities for artists and writers from the UK and other parts of the world.

Studio Glimpse

I am currently working on a series of gouache and watercolor drawings, and  will resume work on Paper Planes in the coming weeks. I am also starting a new collaborative project with artist and long-time friend, Katreena Dyrek. These are images of my studio in Cleveland, OH. 

Off Kilter/In Time

The Fuel And Lumber Company Presents: Off Kilter / In Time 

works by April Bachtel and Mary Laube
Opening reception, July 2nd, 6-9pm
COOP Gallery, 507 Hagan Street Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Sat 11am-3pm and by appointment

The Fuel And Lumber Company presents Off Kilter / In Time, a two-person exhibition with works by April Bachtel and Mary Laube. April Bachtel’s sculptures are made from second-hand artifacts that she dismantles and reassembles with both a violent and tender hand. In contrast to Bachtel’s rough-hewn objects, Mary Laube’s austere paintings of imagined, flattened worlds are at once familiar but removed from a reality directly perceived. Bachtel’s assembly of fragmented parts and Laube’s sharply cropped scenes distort our perspective and alter our sense of body and space. --The Fuel and Lumber Company 

The Fuel and Lumber Company was cofounded in 2013 by Amy Pleasant and Pete Schulte

Czong Institute of Contemporary Art

The Warp Whistle Project has a piece in the Yellow Book International Exhibition at the Czong Institute of Art in Gimpo, South Korea. 

CICA Museum’s art book project “Art Yellow Book” provides a unique art space for artists. Unlike gallery spaces, art books are portable and ubiquitous. Unlike online media, books are tactile and “real.” Art Yellow Book aims to create a space where individual artists can freely express themselves and become media themselves.

Art Yellow Book features artists from around the world. Each artist freely organize two facing pages in the book, using these pages as an exhibition form and an advertisement for themselves and their work. There are no rules or restrictions regarding the layout, design, or content. If you would like to know more about the artists, visit their websites by scanning their QR codes, or contact them directly by email.

The Art Yellow Book International Exhibition Summer 2016 features 32 international artists who participated in Art Yellow Book #2. The exhibition will be held from July 1st to 17th, 2016, featuring Photography, Video Art, and Digital Art. --CICA 


International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA)

The Warp Whistle Project was invited to present at this years International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Hong Kong. Paul Schuette will be presenting our most recent project Nightly Light from Suns, an installation piece developed during our collaborative residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in 2015. 


Nightly Light from Suns merges visual art and technology to explore the notion of Nostalgic Futurism, a yearning for a time when it was possible to imagine a corporeal, tangible technological future, uncomplicated by knowledge of the current moment. The handcrafted materials and antiquated electronic sounds are reminiscent of 1950’s science fiction, reigniting a promising dream of what lies ahead. Visions of the future cannot escape the ideologies of the present moment. Similar to the nature of memory, these projections are romanticized ideations, born from a longing to “be elsewhere.” To facilitate this unhinging from the present, we experiment with the relationship between sonic and visual information by staging various points of intersection. Nightly Light from Suns represents an otherworldly intelligence that implies an unknown and advanced functionality. These unmapped qualities of the work renew a positive sense of longing and wonder about the future that seems to be all but a memory of the past. 

About ISEA:

Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organisation fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organisations and individuals working with art, science and technology. The main activity of ISEA International is the annual International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA). The symposia began in 1988.




Dates: May 5th - June 11th, 2016

526 W 26th st  #807 New York, NY


Opening: May 5th, 6-8pm

Field Projects is pleased to present Signaling to ^ the Cipher ^ towards a Segway, curated by Jesse David Penridge, featuring the work of Austin Ballard, Rory Baron, Sarah E. Brook, Pat Byrne, Abigail Collins, Sean Dustan-Halliday, Carla Edwards, MaDora Frey, Tricia Keightley, Myeongsoo Kim, Alison Kudlow, Mary NaRee Laube, and Jessie Rose Vala. 

Somewhere along the line I had a teacher that convinced me that, at their core, science and religion were ultimately the same things. They are systems for making sense of the human condition. They function as narratives; bedtime stories that ease the mind to sleep. They provide framework that give us purpose and keep us confident that we aren’t just hapless passengers, stuck on a rock hurtling through space, that truly, something bigger is at work.

On an individual level, we all write our own smaller narratives. It’s what we choose to wear and how we present ourselves socially to the world. They are where we come from and where we choose to go, how we interpret history, politics and evolution as they relate to us personally. Whether the stories are fact fiction or some blurred reality, they keep us sane and give us a place.

This show is a patchwork of strategies- works the artists are using to look both at the world and their self. They are analyzing systems, mythologies and environments that were presented to us as fact and comparing them to those that we craft ourselves everyday. These tools not only identify the artists’ points of departure from the world around them, but create new realities, new mythologies, new belief systems. --Jesse David Penridge



Solo Exhibition @ Whitdel Arts in Detroit

Located in Southwest Detroit, Whitdel Arts is a members’ based contemporary art gallery run by a volunteer group of artists and creative individuals, serving the community through contemporary art exhibitions, arts-based activities, and professional development.  Their main home is in Southwest Detroit’s historic Whitdel building on the corner of Hubbard and Porter. 

Whitdel Arts serves artists and the community through its exhibitions and events, professional resources, and educational programs.  The purpose of Whitdel Arts is to provide an environment centered around the creative process of the contemporary arts and the interaction and dialogue derived from it.  Whitdel Arts is a center where the public can view and learn about the contemporary arts by local and national artists, while providing working artists with the resources needed for their artistic careers and studio practice.

Studio Glimpse

I recently moved to Tennessee. Here are some snapshots of my new studio (#8!). It is located on the north side of Chattanooga in what is technically my dining room. With the exception of having to shoo my cat off of my worktables, I really enjoy the open space. 

I am currently working on a series of paintings for a solo exhibition at Whitdel Arts in Detroit. All paintings are 20"x20", acrylic on panel.