POST, Exposing the Resistive Capacity of Numbers

In this sponsored post, The Center for Emerging Visual Arts tells us about their 18th annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) taking place this October while highlighting the work of artist Rebecca Rutstein.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours returns this October, facilitating the unique opportunity to enter the studios and minds of some of Philadelphia’s most cutting-edge artistic voices. To enter into the artist’s space is to allow process to be exposed. As conversations between artists and the public are often restrained by the formality produced by galleries, this shift invites informal conversation and increased intimacy with the artist. This exposure challenges both the visitor and the artist to create an interpersonal closeness that might otherwise go unrealized. Fortunately for us, the work of Rebecca Rutstein provides a platform for such closeness. An accomplished artist, her work is at the nexus of intellectual and aesthetic development. A Cornell and Penn graduate, Rutstein shows her comfort with adjacent complex adaptive systems that are both emergent and agentic. This complexity leaves us questioning context that a studio visit will expose. Rutstein’s work pulls from her study of geology, biology, and maps to create what she calls “spaces of juxtapositions.”

Galapagosi I," Rebecca Rustein, POST.
“Galapagosi I,” Rebecca Rustein. Image courtesy of Center for Emerging Visual Arts.

Although the works are beautiful in their own right, through the undefined juxtapositions that she offers, one is reminded of the classic text, “How Long is the Coast of Britten,” by Benoît Mandelbrot. Here, the mysterious fractals that Rutstein operationalizes emerge requiring the artist to contextualize how she does so. As such, I would suggest this as recommended reading before attending her studio. From calling to attention her perceived conversation with Mandelbrot, I would propose that Rutstein’s sculptures and mixed media paintings address and at the same time resist the insights through Mandelbrot’s work. Perhaps this is the undefined juxtaposition. I wonder then, if her contribution rests in attending to not only Mandelbrot’s topological insights, but also what resistant factual objects exhibit. A space that facilitates exposure to such unidentified juxtapositions will hopefully occur during our visits.

J.A. Dowdall M.A.
Ph.D. Candidate in Embodied Viewing and Reading
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) runs October 8 & 9 and October 14 & 15. Visit Rebecca Rustein at the Crane Arts Building in Kensington on October 8 from noon to 6pm.

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