Art Beat takes a closer look at work in the UMass Dartmouth-affiliated galleries

Don Wilkinson
Special to The Herald News

The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth’s University Art Gallery at the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Star Store Campus has, by virtue of its vision, variety and venue  increasingly become one of the outstanding epicenters of art display and cultural dialogue in the SouthCoast. At any given time, up to five distinct exhibition spaces may be devoted to unique showings of any number of fine arts, artisanal works, installations and/or technology-based media.

In the Swain Studio, easily seen through the windows of the Star Store building at the corner of Purchase and Union, there is a singular work by the Swiss artist Zimoun. It is part of DATMA’s  “Water 2021,” a series of water-themed free public art projects and programs.

With the rather unwieldy title (which is also a partial list of the materials that make it up), “280 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes, 13’’ X 13” X 13”” is a lengthy floor-to-ceiling concave wall of assembled of ordinary brown boxes. From observation on the street, it is difficult to discern the connection to water.

But if one enters the room, the answer is clearer. The sound of 280 seemingly hardened cotton balls, strung to the boxes and motored to swing in unison against the surface of the boxes has the effect of creating a din that approximates the roar of a waterfall. The power of suggestion is the primary ingredient in this cocktail.

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