“Sentient Kitchen,” by Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture Christine Chin, will be on exhibit at the Llewellyn Gallery at Alfred State College from Oct. 23 until Nov. 13. There will be an opening reception and artist talk on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.
The exhibit examines the convergence between technology and biology. “As the machines that assist our lives become smarter and more architecturally complex, they borrow increasingly from the biological realm. Sentient Kitchen takes inspiration from some of nature’s most ingenious engineering,” explains Chin. “What better way to dispense salt than through an organ that is highly developed to taste and why not take advantage of the mammary gland’s unique relationship to milk? While it is the nature of the human ego to cast suspicion on a challenge to human intellect Sentient Kitchen products offer a non-threatening environment to explore the benefits of smarter more sensitive solutions to our daily dining needs.”
The works in the “Sentient Kitchen” series are sculptures created with actual kitchen objects, cast silicone, acrylic resin, and human hair, which are then photographed and used in videos. The photography is inspired by high-end catalogue photography showing the fleshy details of the objects in a sensual manner meant to appeal to the consumer. The videos are shown on small HD screens (typically Apple iPads) and function as moving portraits illuminating the character, psychology and physiology of the “Sentient Kitchen” objects. Installed in the gallery the videos appear still for long periods of time and at any one time motion appears on a few of the screens. The puppet-like animation of the objects contrasts with the futuristic nature of the hybrid technology.
As an artist, Chin’s work makes humorous and ironic commentary on contemporary issues of technology and the environment. Recent projects have addressed artificial intelligence, genetically modified food, and alternative energy. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at venues including the Hall of Science in New York City, Art Basel in Miami, and Canon Communication Space in Beijing.
In 2006-2007, she was granted a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue her project Alternative Alternative Energy in China and she was the 2008 recipient of the Garry B. Fritz Imagemaker Award from the Society for Photographic Education.
Chin holds a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.A. in visual art from Purdue University and an M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico.