Mokha Laget - SambaResponse is a group exhibition featuring four New Mexico-based artists using traditional painting techniques to cutting-edge technology to create responsive and responding bodies of work. A collaboration between Pie Projects and Turner Carroll Gallery, the exhibition will run at Pie Projects, 924B Shoofly Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505, from September 23 to October 22, 2022.

The ability to perceive and adapt to stimuli, along with metabolizing, moving, and reproducing, is fundamental to the scientific definition of life. Through the act of response, an object becomes more than the sum of its parts, and the glimmer of a ghost in the machine starts to shine. Response is also fundamental to the artistic world, as artists’ work responds to the current political climate, their fellow artists, and their environment as viewers, curators, and critics respond to artistic outputs. To respond and be responded to is to imbue and be imbued with meaning.

Morgan Barnard has called Santa Fe home since 2017 and was listed as one of Southwest Contemporary’s 12 New Mexican artists to know in 2022. Barnard creates responsive, immersive works incorporating LED light, video, sound, and animation into projects and screen-based works. His practice utilizes variables such as real-time data gathered from natural phenomena (solar winds on the upper atmosphere, NOAA wave buoys off the coast of San Diego, or the behavior of the surface of the Willamette River, water scarcity in New Mexico) to interact with the visual manifestation of his practice. Through this, he explores the relationship between data, light, and the viewer’s experience of a meditative, playful wonder.

Natalie Christensen and Jim Eyre are an artistic duo. With Christensen based in Santa Fe and Eyre in the UK, by necessity, they collaborate in a virtual studio comprised of shared documents, cloud storage, and endings WhatsApp messages. Their most recent project explores the COVID-19 pandemic and their responses to the shared yet distant experiences. The sculptures in this exhibition were designed in the virtual studio and did not come into the physical realm until Eyre visited Santa Fe earlier this year. This digital collaboration has expanded into augmented reality which viewers will access through an app they can download in the exhibition.

Mokha Laget lives in an off-grid studio outside Santa Fe and creates grand spaciousness in her two-dimensional compositions. In this openness, the viewers’ footholds fall away, like gazing at a tremendous mountain range from a distance while standing on a flat plane. Infinite sight lines butt up against colossal forms. This reflection of and response to the spatial awe of the desert is no coincidence. Born in Algeria, the North African Desert makes up her earliest memories. The subtle shifts in hues and dramatic geological formations found in Algeria are akin to the Southwest landscape of North America. Monumental forms contrasted by vast distances bookend her life, from past to present.

August Muth, as a student of astronomy and physics, looks at his holograms as making perceptible light-space-time phenomena. He lives in Santa Fe and works in a network of connected studios filled with old and new technology needed to create his boundary-pushing holograms, from crafted light-sensitive emulsions to high-end lasers. Muth’s color field abstractions consist of geometric forms stretching beyond the bounds of the archival glass surface moving in space with the viewer. Viewers respond to the refracted light depending on their position in relation to the hologram. The hologram responds to the ambient and projected light in the exhibition space, creating a dynamic and ever-changing experience. Each person, unable to take up the same point in relation to the artwork as anyone else, is subject to their own unique experience of the piece at any given moment.

View Mokha Laget’s work, and Christensen and Eyre work here. View Morgan Barnard and August Muth’s work here.