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Gone Before You Get There, solo exhibition at Microscope Gallery, May 2021

Weather systems, energy and power and the failed dreams of innovators, such as Nikola Tesla — who in the 1890s imagined a free and wireless electric world at a time when others were working to profit from it — are among the specific concerns of Rosheger’s new LED sculptures, 3D printed installation, and silverpoint drawings.

A series of medium-sized sculptures feature videos of storms and other natural forces playing across individual LED matrix panels that are suspended from 19th century lightning rods and various metal structures constructed by the artist. 

Scenes of battering rain and winds composed of excerpts from appropriated storm chaser footage appear on the panels of two floor sculptures, “Gone before you get there, I” and “Gone before you get there, II,” with the titles referencing a phrase from a doomsday survival “prepper” magazine advising its readers to stockpile supplies while they still can. Images of rapid flowing waterfalls cascade across the dangling LEDs of the suspended installation “Niagara Falls.” The sculpture’s shape simultaneously evokes swirling eddies, opulent chandeliers, or broken Jumbotrons.

Because of the low resolution of the LED technology Rosheger uses, in which every light on a panel corresponds to a single digital pixel, what appears to be abstract imagery gradually becomes decipherable with distance. The custom electrical cords and electronics programmed by the artist are also exposed and essential components of these works.

Failed visions of better futures inform the floor installation “Fall,” a work comprised of a swarm of twenty identical 3D printed objects based on an old style of lightning rod toppers, which have been individually treated with copper and patinated to imitate decades of weathering. Rosheger turns the “toppers” upside down with their spikes on the ground rather than “reaching to the heavens” from the highest point of a building as originally intended.

In a series of new silverpoint drawings — a medium in which every mark is permanent — the artist herself attempts to capture the wind in its various forms, from a breeze rustling a rooster’s feathers to a presence capable of knocking down trees and utility lines. It is the wind that Rosheger draws in these works, with animals and objects formed in the empty spaces.

Microscope Gallery, 2021

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