The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

UC Santa Barbara’s MFA Program Presents: “Horizontality”

when: 2014-10-16, starts at 6pm - 8pm
where: Gallery 1328, UCSB


Patrick Gilbert + Cathy Ellis
Reception Thursday, October 16, 6-8 pm
Gallery 1328, UCSB
Discussion Friday October 17, 11:30-12:30
University Center – Harbor Room, UCSB
Exhibition open October 13-17

New work from Patrick Gilbert and Cathy Ellis

In coordination with Horizontality panel, part of BABEL Working Group’s “On the Beach” symposium October 16-18, 2015. Work will be on view October 13-17, with opening reception October 16, 6-8pm
For full program information, visit

Exploring themes of horizontality and its inverse (or disorientation of). Works include new painting, sculp-ture, and photography that ask what the implications of turning momentarily away from the plane we hold so dear might look like in both physical and conceptual reality, and how we can orient ourselves amongst constantly shifting global coordinates.

Panel Abstract:

Horizons intersect and connect the edges of worlds. Bisecting the vertical, invocations of the horizontal idealistically distribute egalitarian contingencies. This panel explores the concept and experience of horizontality: As a purely pictoral image, the horizon exists as a juxtaposition of hues. Given context, knowledge, and progress, it has come to not only symbolize but actually be a point beyond which we as humans cannot transfer through. In both forward and upward directions, it shows us that by being on earth, we are actually in the meeting point between the ‘heavens and earth.’ It is only when we view a horizon with clear definitive characteristics that this is allowed into our consciousness. In reality, we are living nearly every moment within this transitory and turbulent meeting point: the point where weather as we know it is created and brought to its climax. It is not a point or a long line, but rather endless spherical segments or loops that make up the image of the globe. Nothing above us is solid besides the passing meteorite or planet. It is daunting and most likely terrifying when truly explored. For our abiding Ptolemaic phenomenology, the moon does rise and the sun does set into the sea. Political horizontality is no less elemental, whether in the uncompromising imaginations of anarchic syndicalism or in Deleuzian rhizomatic networks that demand a subsidiarity of function and form. Art-historically, while with iconography the third dimension had been constituted by the vanishing-point of the viewer, the pictorial centrality of the horizon marks the advent of a post-Giotto perspective that privileges spatial mimesis. It becomes the ambiguous curvature of futural nostalgia — the chronotope of chronotopes — beyond which the adventure-hero must ride. Horizons symbolize the limit and limitlessness of vision, the utmost extent to which theory can aspire to dilate its critical gaze. Horizontality names an unattainable, ever-receding aim and meridian — the space of thought. Some related questions include: What hazards and reductions accompany the bracketing of the vertical & transcendent? On what theoretical meridians can new interdisciplinary projects align? How do natural states (solid, liquid, gas) meet cultural realities (earth, water, sky)? Does horizontality necessarily imply curvilinear purity, or vanishing infinity? Does the ineluctable horizon between past and present suggest that we’re always already on a temporal beach strewn with the flotsam of selective memory and periodizing methodologies? Should we organize a clean-up?

Posted in: Events