Carnegie Mellon University
January 14, 2014

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon School of Art's Master of Fine Arts Exhibit, "Gross Domestic Product," Opens Jan. 18 at Mine Factory

Contacts: Lauren Goshinski / 412-268-1533 /
                Pam Wigley / 412-889-6238 /

MFA exhibitPITTSBURGH—First- and second-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students at Carnegie Mellon University present new work ranging from multimedia installations, sculpture, and audience-interactive projects to sound, video and performance in "Gross Domestic Product" at the Mine Factory, 201 N. Braddock Avenue.

Opening from 6—8 p.m., Jan. 18, the exhibition is free and open to the public and runs through February 1 with gallery hours Saturday + Sunday 12—5 p.m.

The title, "Gross Domestic Product," represents the sum total of the final goods and services created by all the first- and second-year MFA students.

The student artists are Daniel Allende, Rafael Canedo, Zhiwan Cheung, Brittany Denigris (special guest), Nima Dehghani, Isla Hansen, Ada-Scarlett Hopper, Jesse Kauppila, Dakota Konicek, Jaewook Lee, Tucker Marder, Lucia Nhamo and Daniel Pillis.


DANIEL ALLENDE: "Dude, Where's my Radio?" is a mobile FM radio station taken from bar to bar across Pittsburgh — broadcasting jukeboxes and interviews with patrons live and digitally.

RAFAEL CANEDO: Our comfort in public often depends on our ability to keep to ourselves and to maintain invisible bubbles around ourselves as we navigate our bodies through what has become a fractured, often hostile public space. "We and Your Playlist" is reclamation of the body and public space, through a direct interaction among strangers — guest/host — presented as a series of encounters/accompaniments.

ZHIWAN CHEUNG:  As a Chinese American, I live what I view as a "non-state" than an "in-between-state." This distinction as a "non-state" is important for it frees me from the constraints or allegiance of being either American or Chinese. Through my work, I want to create the same psychological ping-pong from this non-state and in-between-state, putting the viewer in the same perceptual and conceptual spiral of the "non-state" of social and cultural liminal identity.

BRITTANY DENIGRIS: Forever in search of a meeting place for the material and non-material, virtual or actual, my work often springs from minute observations that become focal points for larger meaning. Experiments and investigations create context for acute perception. There is an emphasis on the impermanence and continuation of all things. Place is material.

NIMA DHEGHANI: I prefer to have a dialogue with audience instead of monologue or soliloquy. I prefer to let the audience member interact with me (my work), to interrupt, to talk, to change the disciplines, instead of creating something and putting that in the gallery and standing and watching. I prefer to give them this authority to change my work, to challenge my idea, to correct my thought.

ISLA HANSEN: First Place Professional 72" Universal Portable Panning Achievement Award Stabilizing Support System w/ 50' Lycra Extension Cable is a network of tripods for re-capturing and displaying a particular moment in synchronized swimming history.

ADA-SCARLETT HOPPER: I want to understand how movement, time and machines frame our biological and philosophical existence. I explore a variety of human experiences attempting to define existence, time, space and the human form that contains each of our beings.

JESSE KAUPPILA: For my project, "Lace Culture," I re-enact the creation, development and death of culture in the microcosm of lace.

DAKOTA KONICECK: "Conservation of the Self: Systems A, B, C" toys with the delicate tension between life and its perceived dependence upon technology. This hyperbolized hydroponic garden is an assemblage of experimental organs questioning specific roles and their consequences. The plants grown are porcelain berries, an invasive vine found by the artist at an abandoned court in Pittsburgh.

JAEWOOK LEE: Objects, ideologies, and sounds are freed of their origins and move around epidemic, contagion, and the wind to become other new things. Unbuilding is the erosion of boundary that can allow for a new possibility.

TUCKER MARDER: Inspired by the natural world, I do not simply render natural forms. The ambiguity of my sculptures — their metamorphic qualities — refuses to be one thing or another. Echoing life, they continually shift phase, defying categories such as animal, vegetable and mineral.

LUCIA NHAMO: I'm drawn to the idea of the Zimbabwe hundred trillion dollar note as a counter-monument both because it is no longer in use and, perhaps more significantly, because of the sense of foreboding that the prospect of its imminent return carries.

DANIEL PILLIS: In my installations and sculptures I wish to psychologically engage the way in which the human mind projects itself onto the world: the seamless boundary between the ocular organ and the lived environment. I have turned an entire house in Pittsburgh into a multi-media, interactive performance environment that tells my 94 year-old grandmother's life story, and is designed to conjure the aesthetic of American Kitsch. For this exhibition I have created a gallery specific simulation that acts as an annex, replicating this experience of her existence.