WALLA WALLA, Wash.— Painting, sculpture, video, sound and the Internet are the mediums used by the collaborative art duo of Ben Bloch and Caroline Peters, whose show “Goatsilk” opens at Whitman’s Sheehan Art Gallery Friday, Oct. 20, with an artists’ lecture by Bloch and Peters.

The artists, also known collectively as Goatsilk, will present the lecture at 5 p.m. in Olin 130; an opening reception of the show will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery. The show runs through Dec. 8, and as with all Sheehan exhibits is free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. For more information contact gallery director Ian Boyden, (509) 527-1259.

Bloch, who has MFAs in writing and painting from the University of Montana, is currently teaching New Genre Art, theory and practice in the art department at Whitman. He works in a variety of media, including video, performance and net.art and has written more than 100 articles on contemporary art and culture for the Missoulian. Peters is a performance artist and painter with an MFA from the University of Montana. Her work was selected as a “Critic’s Choice” by Fred Camper of “The Chicago Reader” and reviewed by Alan Artner of the “Chicago Tribune.” She is currently gallery director and assistant professor in contemporary theory at Colorado State University—Pueblo.

The upcoming show in Sheehan, say the artists, explores the aesthetics of immateriality, magic, human/animal consciousness, cheap ugliness, connectivity, technology and religion. Goatsilk will present a suite of recent artworks, including Portraits from an Ark, a large-scale voice-activated video installation. A catalogue with an essay by Missoula-based art critic Joe Campana will accompany the exhibition.

In 2002 Bloch and Peters co-founded an art space in Montana and named it Goatsilk. Goatsilk, said Bloch, is a real material made by splicing the silk producing gene from a spider with the milk producing gene of a goat. The result of this genetic collage, he said, is a goat whose milk contains proteins that can be strained and spun into spider silk. The artists say they find this possibility creative but also strange, “attractive yet frightening.” Their work, says critic Campana, traverses troubling territory In the show's catalogue he adds that “Goatsilk’s art seeks the moment of an unpardonable transgression, tracing the surge of energy inside containers doomed to explode and disperse their force into a pitiless future. All assurances vanish.”


CONTACT: Ian Boyden, gallery director, (509) 527-1259; boydenih@whitman.edu


Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156; parishlj@whitman.edu