Running July 15, 2012 – February 23, 2013
The Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation will host Wayne Strattman, the world’s foremost maker of kinetic plasma sculpture, in a major solo exhibition opening July 15. Strattman, known to millions via the high-voltage plasma he designed to light up the Borg ship in the Star Trek movies, will be showing off a (literally) luminous array of eye-dazzling works that pushes what’s possible with light.
Although Strattman is represented in almost 1,000 museums worldwide, and has had over 4,000 private commissions, Self: Illuminated will be his first solo museum show, and the first to feature work not made for commercial or scientific contexts. The six month exhibit, with almost one hundred individual pieces grouped into ten installations, will be complemented by several events celebrating glass and technology-based art.
Wayne Strattman has been manipulating glass, gases and electricity for more than 25 years. He is personally responsible for pioneering many of the techniques now intrinsic to his medium. His book, “Neon Techniques”, is still the industry standard reference book after 15 years of continuous publication. He holds a large number of innovative lighting patents, and his commercial clients include Disney, Osram-Sylvania, the Sam Adams Brewery, Sega Gameworks, casinos and motion picture companies.
Strattman’s work is clearly rooted in his background of physics and engineering. However, as the show title intimates, the subject is human cognition, perception, and memory, not just the blaze of cool technology. Pieces range from a huge chess board that mimics the complexity of the human relationships to a forest of molecule trees. Tarot cards, woven wire faces, engraved snatches of conversation, and gold boxing gloves make appearances along with chemical phosphors. One installation will involve a thirty-four foot wall of his patented Luminglas®, the electrically charged, lightning-filled panels commissioned of him by Paramount pictures for Star Trek’s Borg ship.
The Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation’s main galleries tell the stories of innovators such as Francis Cabot Lowell, creator of the American system of manufacturing, and Arthur Denison, creator of the Waltham Watch Company; however, in the past four years the museum has focused its temporary gallery space on exhibits highlighting the creative side of the innovation / invention process. “Successful innovation happens only when innovators and inventors use both the academic and creative sides of their brain”, says Elln Hagney, the Museum’s Executive Director. “Our main galleries do an excellent job of highlighting the engineering side of innovation, and great innovators such as Charles Metz and others. However, it is difficult for the general public to see the creativity and / or art in machines and industry artifacts. Exhibits such as Wayne’s provide visitors with obvious examples of how art and science blend to create innovation for both industry and the arts.”
About This Project
Remember the Borg from Star Trek? Wayne Strattman is the artist responsible for lighting up their ship with high-voltage plasma. He is the world’s most famous kinetic plasma glass artist, and on July 15th, he will have his first solo museum show.
About Wayne, engineer and artist:
Wayne Strattman has been manipulating glass, gases and electricity for more than 25 years. He has had over 4000 private commissions and has work in close to 1000 museums. Lighted glass is his passion, and he is personally responsible for pioneering many of the techniques now intrinsic to his medium. Strattman’s work picks up where Geissler, Crookes, and Tesla left off. With three degrees under his belt, a Ph.D. in Neon Arts, and having literally written the book on neon, Wayne goes where no man has gone before.