Faculty’s art collection comments on obsession with technology

Exhibit up through September shows fractured world



An installation from Gallery 2 of the WSU Fine Arts Center. Joe Hedges, painting and intermediate professor, showcases his artwork from his collection of dichotomic work that combines traditional and new media art.

MADDY BEAN, Evergreen reporter

Hyper Combines, a new intermedia exhibit from a WSU artist, will be shown in Gallery 2 of the Fine Arts Center until Sept. 20.

The exhibit comments on how phones and technology have snuck into every part of our lives, said Joe Hedges, creator of the exhibit and painting and intermedia professor.

Last week, Hedges said he held an art reception for the collection and said the exhibit is open to anyone.

The gallery is full of paintings and technical equipment in mixed media pieces. Paintings display a natural scene, whether it’s forests, oceans, or the sky — accompanying them are bits of technology like phones, stereos or televisions.

As the name suggests, Hedges wants to combine different medias with the expansiveness of the internet.

“I love paintings … but today, our phones are a more universal experience,” Hedges said. “Many people have had an interaction over a digital device. Not everyone has had that same kind of personal experience with a painting.”

Jaime Durham, a graduate art student, attended Hedges’ talk about his collection and said the pieces speak to her.

“I loved all the points he made about technology, because it’s something I think about a lot,” Durham said. “He’s using it in a really playful way that makes it not so scary …  making it something beautiful, even though it’s something really ugly.”

Most of the work in his Hyper Combines series is brand new. Hedges said most of it was “banged out” over this past summer, as he was trying to figure out how to merge his two interests of internet art and painting together.

The Hyper Combines series leaves WSU on Sept. 20 and will head to Loveland, Colorado, and finally to the Chase Gallery in Spokane, Washington, in January.

Hedges says that he hopes that people take a moment to examine their own relationship with both technology as well as fine arts as this series travels around.

“For me, this is just a way that I can try to relate to wherever people are coming in from,” he said. “Whether that’s just an interest in the internet or painting.”