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Grunwald Gallery to open interactive 'Inter:Facing' exhibition

August 2011

The Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University Bloomington will host a gallery talk and opening reception for "Inter:Facing," an interactive art exhibition, on Friday, Sept. 9, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. The show will be on view at the gallery (1201 E. 7th St.) through Saturday, Oct. 1. All events are free and open to the public.

Dolinsky Art

"Inter:Facing" features computer-mediated portraiture by IU Associate Professor Margaret Dolinsky, who integrates computer graphics with sensors connected to 3-D sculptures in order to invent a kind of hybrid reality. In order to give her whimsical characters a metaphorical voice, these sensors encourage conversation, interaction and play. Dolinsky teaches digital art in the School of Fine Arts within the College of Arts and Sciences.

"There has been a historical tradition in art toward altering perception," Dolinsky said. "My work in virtual reality employs dynamic imagery to heighten awareness, promoting what I call a 'perceptual shift' for the visitor." She describes a perceptual shift as a marginal cognitive event that's on the boundaries of normal awareness, outside of conditioned attenuation. Perceptual shifts are often provoked by artwork such as trompe l'oeil, Cubism, Cornell boxes, labyrinth gardens and Brecht's political theater, she said.

"These devices for wonderment have a magical quality that requires a specific interaction unique to the particular device and its functions," Dolinsky said. "Once the participant realizes his or her role within that interaction relationship, possibilities open for perceptual shifts and cognitive events. In my own work, I am not attempting to shape emotion in particular, but I do hope to shape perceptual possibilities within immersive environments."

Dolinsky has been working with virtual environments since 1995, creating interactive art experiences that have been exhibited at SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, ICC in Tokyo and the Walker Art Center. She received a Master of Fine Arts from University of Illinois at Chicago. There, she worked with the CAVE virtual reality theater, where people stand inside projection walls and navigate a 3-D simulation as the graphics hover around them.

Dolinsky was commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art to create "Cabinet of Dreams," a virtual reality experience of Chinese antiquities. She has had several exhibits in China, including her piece "Emotable Portraits." More recently, Dolinsky created virtual sets for the American Opera Theater and the IU Jacobs School of Music performances. She is a senior research scientist with the Pervasive Technology Institute and Fellow with the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities at IU Bloomington.

This exhibition is supported by IU Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Funding, College Arts and Humanities Institute, Advanced Visualization Lab and the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities.

Grunwald Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. or by appointment. Phone: 812-855-8490. Web site: E-mail: