September 08, 2017 – October 12, 2017
Alberta Printmakers Gallery
Artist talk: September 8, 7 pm
Reception to follow
Taking Stock – Chad Erpelding
Essay by Shaun Crawford
The modern global community simultaneously increases the interconnectedness between people around the world, while also alienating their contextual perspectives. The rise of globalization has created a world of intimate and unseen relationships between individuals, their identified place, and the global systems and institutions that play a significant role in shaping experiences. However, people rarely see where they fit in that typically inaccessible and enigmatic puzzle. Chad Erpelding provides a platform for people to situate themselves within a systemic global network by representing these systems through data visualization in an accessible and surprisingly appropriate print medium.
Chad Erpelding himself has contributed to the global conversation as a visual artist for more than 20 years. He began his formal studies in 1994 at Central College where he participated in a study abroad program in Wales at Trinity University before receiving his BA in Studio Art from the Central College in Iowa. He later went on to achieve a Masters in Fine Arts at the Southern Illinois
University of Carbondale in Illinois in 2006. Throughout that time Erpelding’s work has been seen all over the world in the form of public art and several solo and group exhibitions in places like Japan, Romania, South Korea, Hungary, Russia, and of course, all over the United States. The international network of his exhibitions is reminiscent of his work itself, consistently considering our place within the context of systemic global relationships.
Globalization has emerged as a result of long-standing political systems, increasingly powerful corporate institutions, and a vast, sprawling network of travel around the world. The current global situation is one of constant interconnection. And while many discussions about people connecting across the world credits social media, citing something like Facebook for providing global platforms, Erpelding has identified the evidence of these networks in their footprint of data and information. Through his precision work, Chad Erpelding calls our attention to the global institutions and systems that truly construct a network of interconnectivity by portraying contextual data visualizations. As Erpelding himself says, “I am interested in the movement of people, capital, business, and organizations, and the effect this has on contemporary perceptions of place.”
For his exhibition at Alberta Printmakers, Erpelding analyzes data from Canada’s S&P/TSX composite index, studying its relationship with the Global Economy. These numbers offer a unique glimpse into Canada’s connection with the rest of the world, and offer the viewer a new platform to consider their own connection with Canada and the globe. It is a relationship that some experts follow closely, but one that most people dismiss or overlook, living their every day lives without examining its effect on them. Erpelding’s work compiles the data in a new way – far from the news report on the radio, the black and white print in the paper, or the scrolling numbers on a screen. His pieces provide you with an opportunity to consider this visual data as evidence of global relationships, a barometer of a place’s relationship to the world and how you are intricately connected to it.
Chad Erpelding (b. 1974, Iowa; MFA Southern Illinois University Carbondale 2016) formed an interest with data and maps through extensive traveling, including riding a bicycle across North America and hiking the Appalachian Trail. His work has been exhibited throughout the world and hie’s been awarded residencies in Argentina, France and Armenia. He is currently a Professor of Art and Director of the Graduate Program at Boise State University in Idaho.