Ohio University

News Archive

Published: February 13, 2019 Author: Emily Baxstrom

Since fall semester 2018, the Open OHIO project has helped create a space for open dialogue among students, staff, faculty and community members alike. Phase 1 of the project included providing a place and time to have face-to-face discussions with people of different backgrounds and values. This semester is the start of phase 2.

There will be a series of interactive art and science exhibits throughout February, March and April. Topics of interest emerged throughout the past 120 Open OHIO discussions, the most prominent of which turned into the art exhibit’s subject: “Navigating Turbulence.”

“The notes left behind after the small group conversations suggested that many people in our campus community are concerned about safety, power dynamics, identity stereotypes, and environmental conditions, with much of this reflecting turbulence,” said Sarah Davis, associate professor in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. “The way we navigate social and physical turbulence can shape our perceptions of the world. This exhibit brings together many different perspectives on Navigating Turbulence with insight from a wide range of disciplines.”

The “Navigating Turbulence” art exhibit includes the following five installations, each designed while artists engaged in discussion with scientists and researchers from different disciplines:

“You can’t take it with you…(tornado)”; “You can’t take it with you…(hurricane)”
This pair of kinetic sculptures by Melissa Haviland “is about chaotic moments in life when we feel like we might be swept away,” said Haviland, area chair and professor of printmaking and art in the College of Fine Arts.

The Entropy Machine
Owen Lowery, a graduate student studying communication media arts, created an immersive experience that involves a curious structure, digital light and an interactive system. “But all of this is not The Entropy Machine,” said Lowery. “You are. We all are. We are energy contained. But energy, given the opportunity to spread, will spread.”

Transforming Trauma
This installation honors and acknowledges the process-oriented, supportive and engaged community that is willing to make space for deeper dialogue on difficult issues. Rachel Siegel, counselor; Susan Folger, psychologist/eating disorder support team coordinator; and Megan Yetzer, psychologist, have all created a structure that participants can add to, sharing their own stories. They are all staff in OHIO's Counseling and Psychological Services.

Shape of the Future
This mixed media installation explores and uses the properties of the chemical element gallium—a metal that melts at temperatures greater than 85°F. Ekaterina Izmestyeva, a graduate student studying photography, will invite viewers to touch the metal as it melts, collectively reshaping the ever-changing future.

Turbulent Minds
Hope Moore, a graduate student studying media arts and studies, created a series of three interactive pieces that replicate psychological symptoms that many people deal with daily, emulating their interference with simple tasks. Played individually or together, each experience has a simple goal, but participants will have to navigate or work around the symptoms to reach it.

For more information on each art installation, visit the Open OHIO art exhibit web page. The “Navigating Turbulence” art exhibit will tour the University and surrounding community in a total of three exhibits:

  • February 27, 2:00–8:00 p.m.—Baker University Center second floor theatre lounge
  • March 1–31—Alden Library
  • April 10–24, 12:00–5:00 p.m.—The Dairy Barn


For more information about the Open OHIO project, visit the Open OHIO web page.