Reena Spaulings presents “The Strange Attractor” an exhibition of new work by artist Stephen Willats. Willats work encompasses both the scientific and the artistic by the merging of
cybernetics, system research, and communication theory with visual aides that include film, photography, and some collage. Willats work strives to transform the perceptions of the culture of objects into the possibilities within the community of people that are interacting with those objects. More simply the artist believes that reality is of our own construction, that we create the reality we want within our lives, and that there is not merely one way of experiencing or viewing reality.
The driving force behind the exhibition is the city in which the exhibition is located, New York. By gathering information from the streets of New York, Willat has created a complex system linking every minute detail of the city and the people dwelling within it.
The largest piece found in the exhibition is entitled “ Data Stream Portrait of New York.” The piece consists of a free standing wall, which is covered in small square images linked together by a thin black line on each side of the square. The photos consist of images of information found within the city. By assembling the piece in this way the artist has left most of the interpretation up to the viewer enabling them to create their own reality forcing them to interact with the work.
Another work that illustrates the idea of creating your own reality with the objects and moments around you is a piece entitled “How the future looks from here”. The piece is centered around a Brooklyn based family who is striving for a harmonious future, and includes images of the family with text beginning with a concern the couple has and ending with the concern becoming a reality and something they couple has to figure out how to deal with. The text and photographs in this work tie it together to reiterate Willats point, that you create your own reality through the choices you make. The artist also conveys through this piece, the fact that you can manipulate that reality. “The Strange Attractor” successfully conveys the artists message of humans controlling their reality while still leaving the actual reality controlling up to the viewer.