Melanie Hoff: 15,000 Volts at Visual Voice Gallery

Melanie Hoff
15,000 Volts
Visual Voice Gallery
September 10 – October 18, 2015

Visual Voice Gallery is delighted to present the exhibition 15,000 Volts by American artist Melanie Hoff. The 15,000 Volts – Passage and Control series is the result of years of experimentation with directing fractal burns in wood. Hoff manipulated variables such as the species of wood, the composition of the conductive solution, and the placement of electrodes. From these experiments, she learned how to control specific variables to create compositions. No pattern realized in this way can be exactly replicated. These artworks are a collaboration between the artist and the laws of electricity. The fractal patterns, called Lichtenberg figures, were discovered by 18th Century physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. They were first noted when dust in the air settled on the surface of electrically-charged plates of resin. Hoff’s work fuses scientific and artistic practices by enlisting principles of physics and chemistry as mediums of art.

Melanie Hoff was born in Washington D.C. and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of the Pratt Institute where she earned a BFA in sculpture and is currently pursuing a masters degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Hoff’s work has been exhibited in galleries and on screens internationally. The artist has been featured on the Radiolab podcast’s live show “Apocalyptical”, Discovery Channel’s “Outrageous Acts of Science”, Vice’s “The Creators Project” and on National Public Radio’s “Science Friday”. Hers is a research-based practice that investigates the intangible forces that shape our environment. Though she began her studies as a photography student, after her foray into sculpture, Hoff became increasingly interested in chemistry and electricity, harnessing her knowledge of these scientific fields for her art. She intends to broaden her practice with acquired skills in technology to further investigate our modern environment by exploring not only the hidden behaviors of materials but of one of the most elusive aspects of our environment: humans.

(Text: Visual Voice Gallery)

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