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2019 Annual Conference


March 07-10, 2019

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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Rebecca Cummins will not only be awarded the distinction of the SPENW 2014 Honored Educator, but she, along with her collaborator Paul Demarinis, will be discussing Lunar Drift, the most recent addition to the Western Sculpture Collection. Please join us to recognize Rebecca and her achievements as an educator as well as the inaguration of Lunar Drift.

Rebecca Cummins explores the sculptural, experiential and sometimes humorous possibilities of light and natural phenomena (often referencing the history of optics).

Installations have incorporated a rainbow machine, camera obscura / fibre-optic journey through the center of the earth, paranoid dinner-table devices ('Liquid Scrutiny' referenced a 17th century Czech camera obscura goblet), an interactive computer/video rifle ('To Fall Standing' updated French physiologist E.J.Marey's photographic rifle of 1882) and a periscope birdbath. In the spirit of 19th c. chimeras, portable camera obscuras have merged with garbage bins, flowerpots, portable toilets, birdhouses, mobile homes, televisions and Tibetan cheese boxes.

Over the past year, she has been investigating the apparent movement of the sun in a series of works that have been realized sculpturally and photographically (including large scale sundials and a Seattle Public Library commission for an aperture sundial installation in the new Montlake Public Library). Several recent photographic projects record the movement of shadows (in daylight and moonlight) over regular intervals of time.

'Light Rain, 2004' (with Paul DeMarinis) featured an outdoor, interactive sound and light sculpture that allows viewers to experience full-spectrum primary and secondary rainbows when the sun shines. It enlists multiple streams of falling water, specially modulated with audio signals to create melodies when visitors interrupt the flow with ordinary umbrellas. Enter the rainbow - and it sings to you!

Cummins was recently awarded the Chancellor's Award from the University of Technology, Sydney for the outstanding University 2003 PhD dissertation entitled 'Necro-Techno: Examples from an Archeology of Media.' She has exhibited widely in Australia, the U.S. and Europe.

Cummins was born in Iowa, did her BFA at the University of Northern Iowa and her MA at the University of New Mexico. She moved to Seattle, Washington in 2001 following 17 years in Sydney, Australia.


photo: Lunar Drift Composite

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