The numbers on the wall drop at a dizzying speed. The filaments flash orange and drop from nine to zero and back again as the seconds slip away on 12 identical timers. This is the “Omega Man,” made of Russian-surplus Dixie tubes, a GPS receiver and various custom electronics.
The description reads that it counts from one trillion seconds to zero. It cannot be stopped. It cannot be reset. If the power is out or the battery dies, the “Omega Man” will update via satellite and resume without interruption.
At the bottom of the description, it reads: “One trillion years ago, the last known Neanderthals walked the plains of Europe, and were in sharp decline in favor of homo-sapiens.”
This is but one of many pieces that make up the exhibit “Hither and Yon,” created by artist and PLNU art professor David Adey at the Scott White Contemporary Art Gallery in La Jolla.
“Maybe one thing that continues through all of my work is this idea of constraints,” said Adey in an interview aired by KPBS. “We’re surrounded by constraints everyday. We all have to have a certain amount of sleep. We’re constrained by gravity. We’re constrained by the time and the day.”
Adey graduated from PLNU in 1994 with a B.A. in Visual Art. He has since worked for various companies in graphic design such as Pepsi, Nike, Taylor Guitars, and many more before earning his M.F.A. in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. San Diego Visual Arts Network awarded Adey art prize of the year as well as exhibition of the year in 2010. His solo exhibit in Los Angeles was recognized by the Huffington Post to be one of the top ten exhibits of 2010.
“I’ve never thought of it as a career,” Adey said via e-mail.” I’ve loved making art since I was a child. I just never gave it up.”
“The diverse work of San Diego based David Adey synthesizes conceptual, minimal, and pop elements into a 21st century context exploring our internet centered, digitally saturated, and image obsessed culture through the tension that exists between the individual and universal, the material and spiritual, the momentary and infinite,” said Lauren Buscemi in her essay “David Adey: Terrestrial and Celestial Realms.”
The exhibit gallery features mandalas — “Starbirth” and “Gravitational Radius” — of digitally printed and laser-cut limbs and lips. Other laser-cut pieces line the walls with the same celestial-inspired names. In the center of the room stands a structure that reaches the ceiling. Starting with a small cup, it towers 14 feet, consisting of other vessels and containers like a vase, a KFC bucket, and a trashcan. It is called “Fill My Cup.”
David’s exhibition will remain at the Scott White Contemporary Art Gallery until Feb. 15.