SANTA MONICA, CA—The Sam Francis Gallery announces the exhibition nothing’s going on here., on view Feb. 19-March 13, 2020. Organized by Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences curatorial students Kai McAliley and Davis Norma Ouriel, nothing’s going on here. is a multimedia exhibition featuring degrees of the “uncanny valley,” as defined by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori, through works by Tiffany Trenda, Vincent Ubags, Anthony Lepore, Leegan Koo and Jacob Yanes. Through this exhibition, the students aim to showcase digital, physical and live forms supporting Mori’s theory—from the passionately un-lifelike to the formidably real—each piece striking a profound relationship with the viewer’s spectrum of affinity.
The artists on view each explore the idea of the uncanny valley—described by Mori as “the proposed relation between the human likeness of an entity and the perceiver’s affinity for it.” Tiffany Trenda’s automaton-guise will appear in both performance and print through the works Body Code and Urban Devotion. In Junkfood is alive, high Kick and Inflated muscleman, Vincent Ubags explores the relationship between the body, technology and the natural world differently; he chooses to exploit the human form in animation. The Dada-flavored-futurism favored by nothing’s going on here. continues in Anthony Lepore’s photographic series Performance Anxiety, where the artist manifests illusory alternate dimensions. Leegan Koo’s paintings Searching and Whale WAtching disrupt any remaining sense of normalcy, as mass media becomes reality. Finally, sculptor Jacob Yanes roots the viewer into simple disquiet with Little Child, somewhat assuring them that, in fact, nothing’s going on here.