The usually non-overlapping domains of art and science intertwine as San Franciscan (and Silicon Valley native) Casey Cripe
’s newest large-scale, multimedia exhibit takes over SOMA’s Mirus Gallery
“One is All is One
” (opening Saturday, Aug. 15, 7-10 p.m., and running through mid-Sept.) is a collection of some 30 works by the artist-scientist, who focuses on creating massive, finely detailed diagrams that have the specificity of 19th-century biological sketches and the depth of a cyborg’s psyche. Like Diego Rivera's mural Man at the Crossroads
(but without the overt Marxism) combined with a child's fascination at a scale-model of the solar system, Cripe's work exudes an almost holy wonder even when the subject matter is seldom seen outside a graduate-level textbook.
Cripe calls the show his magnum opus — which, if it sounds premature for a 31-year-old who presumably wishes to continue working for awhile, should at least give the viewer pause — claiming that “these maps that I craft are not only to chart and guide my own path, but also the paths of all fellow human beings.”
This level of ambition might raise eyebrows but for the connection between the work itself and world events. The exponential power of supercomputers, the rise of the “Internet of Things,” and the silvery specter of the Singularity jockeying with climate change for dominance over humanity’s long-term survival should get gallery-goers to reconsider the inner workings of their own brain circuitry. Like a scientific instrument that measures quarks and galactic superclusters at once, Cripe’s work is both micro and macro, spiritual and hypermaterial, without devolving into mushy Burner tropes.
One of postmodernism’s achievements was to make people skeptical of grand narratives, but that doesn’t fully account for the fact that homo sapiens is going somewhere. “One is All is One” resists easy prognostication, but doesn’t shy away from the cosmic, either.
One is All is One
, Aug. 15 - Sept. 12, at Mirus Gallery, 540 Howard, 415-543-3440.