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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Artist Kurt Ralske to visit URI this month

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 24, 2006 -- Kurt Ralske, a New York City- based video artist, composer and programmer, will visit the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus, thanks to the support of the Italo Scanga Visiting Artists Fund. Ralske will be on campus Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30, 2006.

Ralske works in a variety of practices including improvised audio-visual performance, installations, digital print media, and software art. He has performed and exhibited at museums, galleries and theaters throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S., including the Guggenheim Bilbao, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art. The New York Times has praised his “compelling, ingenious alliance of sound and motion” and “technological wizardry.”

There will be a public screening of his video, "Darkness (Not Darkness)" (2005), on Wednesday, March 29 at 4 p.m. in the film screening room, F210, Fine Arts Center, followed by a reception. The full-length, experimental video was created from images of Iraq in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. The source images are time-manipulated using the artist's custom software. Desert, sky, water, fire and oil flow and blend organically, mixing like liquids. Events that actually happened sequentially appear to occur simultaneously. The drift of images suggests omniscient views of a post-apocalyptic landscape. The music is by Toru Takemitsu and text by C.S.Lewis.

On Thursday, March 30 Ralske will collaborate with art students on an interactive video installation in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Ralske’s work received first prize at the 2003 Transmediale International Media Art Festival in Berlin, as a member of the real-time video improvisation ensemble 242.pilots. He is also the author, programmer of Auvi (http://auv-i.de), a software environment for creating custom real-time video programs that is in use by video artists in more than 22 countries. He is the recipient of a 2004 National Science Foundation Scholarship Award.

The Italo Scanga Visiting Artist Fund was established in 2005 with a donation from URI Art Department alumna Katherine Scanga and the Italo Scanga Foundation. Ralske is the first visiting artist supported by the fund.

Italo Scanga was an internationally renowned sculptor who taught for many years at University of California-San Diego. His artworks have been exhibited widely and are in many important museums and art collections.

For further information on Ralske’s visit, call the URI Department of Art at 401-874-5821.