Jennifer Steinkamp

More Information

Project History

Landmarks commissioned a video installation by artist Jennifer Steinkamp for the renovated Welch Hall in the College of Natural Sciences. Inspired by the evolutionary concept of symbiosis, the site-specific animation enhances the architectural setting by blurring the boundary between real and illusionistic space.

Funding for Eon was provided by the capital improvement project for the College of Natural Sciences. Landmarks gives special thanks to the following:

Leadership

Andrée Bober and Landmarks
David Darling and the Office of Campus Planning and Facilities Management
Douglas Dempster and the College of Fine Arts
Paul Goldbart and the College of Natural Sciences
Jay Hartzell and the Office of the President
Landmarks Advisory Committee
James Shackelford and Capital Planning and Construction
Larry Singell and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Project Team

Dean Appling, associate dean, College of Natural Sciences
Nisa Barger, project manager, Landmarks
The Beck Group
Andrée Bober, curator and director, Landmarks
Ian Campbell and LAITS Technology Integration Team
Bill Haddad, technology manager, Landmarks
Payette
Jennifer Steinkamp, artist
STG Design
Keith Westmoreland, Capital Planning and Construction

Special Thanks

Eric Anslyn, faculty, College of Natural Sciences
Kathleen Brady Stimpert, deputy director, Landmarks
Marissa Dunagan, intern, Landmarks
Gregory Fenves, former university president
Rudolf Frieling, curatorial contributor
André Fuqua, development, Landmarks
Christine Gwillim, education, Landmarks
Ann Harasimowitz, director of facilities, College of Natural Sciences
Linda Hicke, former dean, College of Natural Sciences
Mary Margaret Kennedy, operations, Landmarks
Marla Martinez, Financial and Administrative Services
Matthew Milburn, LAITS Technology Integration Team
Steven Moore, facilities, College of Natural Sciences
Christina Murrey, photography
Shelley Payne, faculty, College of Natural Sciences
David Rea, former vice president of campus planning
Stephanie Sandoval, communications, Landmarks
Patrick Sheehy, installation services
Christine Sinatra, communications, College of Natural Sciences
David Steadman, creative director, College of Natural Sciences
Stephanie Taparauskas, development, Landmarks
David Vanden Bout, associate dean, College of Natural Sciences
Reagan Woodlock, design, Landmarks
Ali Wysopal, collections, Landmarks

The project is sponsored in part by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts logo

Press Highlights

UT Landmarks to Unveil Large-scale Digital installation by Jennifer Steinkamp
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Sightlines, 24 July 2020
"A permanent installation, “Eon” takes its inspiration from the concept of symbiosis, recognized by scientists as a key component of evolution. In Steinkamp’s installation, a looping one-minute digital video, biomorphic shapes undulate across the screen, punctuating an aqueous backdrop with bursts of pink, yellow, and multicolored fragments. Once installed, “Eon” can be viewed through Welch Hall’s glass façade on Speedway, until the building reopens when classes at UT resume."

UT Austin's Landmarks Commissions Jennifer Steinkamp for New Public Work
Christopher Blay, Glasstire, 27 July 2020
"Steinkamp is widely credited as a pioneering digital artist; her computer-generated environments explore architecture, nature, and the passage of time. In Texas, Steinkamp’s work has been seen most recently in Jennifer Steinkamp: The Seasons at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (January 2019), and Womb, at Talley Dunn Gallery in Dallas (October 2019). Steinkamp’s immersive installations “transform the spaces in which they are sited into hyperreal, simulated natural worlds that blur the line between biological and virtual.'"

Celebrating EON: A Virtual Q & A with Jennifer Steinkamp 
Glasstire, September 2020
“Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, celebrates the opening of its newest commission, “EON,” a large-scale digital installation by artist Jennifer Steinkamp. Please join us via Zoom on Thursday, September 10 at 4:30 PM CST for a discussion between Steinkamp and curatorial contributor Rudolf Frieling, with opening remarks from Landmarks director Andrée Bober and College of Natural Sciences Dean Paul M. Goldbart."

UT Austin Unveils Digital Artwork on Symbiosis
Menachem Wecker, Rough Sketch, 1 September 2020
"When Andrée Bober commissioned Jennifer Steinkamp to create an artwork for a University of Texas at Austin building in 2018, neither the founder and director of UT’s public art program Landmarks nor the Los Angeles-based artist could have known how prescient the work would prove two years later.

The university sets aside between 1 and 2 percent of capital improvement funds for Landmarks, and the new work was to be located in the newly-renovated Welch Hall, part of the natural sciences college. Bober knew visitors would see the work from the main campus pedestrian walkway, and the college asked that natural sciences inform the artwork."

The Lone Star State Gets a Singular Artwork
Architectural Digest, 18 September 2020
"Landmarks, the public art program of the University of Texas at Austinhas announced its commision of a new work by artist Jennifer Steinkamp. 'I was struck by the theory of symbiosis in evolution; our DNA ancestors are the resultant fusion of single cellular organisms and bacteria,' Steinkamp comments to AD PRO."

A Conversation with Jennifer Steinkamp
Sculpture Magazine, 11 September 2020
"Steinkamp's newest work, Eon, is the latest to join the Landmarks public art collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Thirty feet long and nine feet high, the digital LED projection, on display in the lobby of the College of Natural Sciences, immerses viewers in an underwater flow of primordial life."

New Landmarks Installation Is an Ode to Evolutionary Science
Alcalde, 2 November 2020
"Steinkamp, known for her digital work using computer-generated animation, brings these 3D movements to life for the first time in her 30-by-9-foot LED display installation in the newly renovated Welch Hall’s glass façade on Speedway. Eon marks the 45th work commissioned by the university’s public art program, Landmarks, whose collection includes James Turrell’s The Color Inside, Nancy Rubin’s Monochrome for Austin, and José Parlá’s Amistad America."

See this art: UT installs enveloping video 'Eon'
Austin American Statesman, 29 September 2020
"Eon is like a big public aquarium tank or a picture window into an underwater cosmos. Mind you, those were this individual viewer’s strong impressions. There is nothing definitively aqueous or organic in Steinkamp’s art. Rather, at times it feels non-specific, almost abstract.

Despite all the movement, Eon is calming, reflective. Austin is lucky to have it. Steinkamp has installed luscious videos all over the world, including locales in London, Istanbul, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and Guangzhou, China."

Press Release - 24 July 2020

Landmarks Announces New Commission by Artist Jennifer Steinkamp

Large-scale video installation to explore concept of Symbiosis 

AUSTIN, Texas  Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, announced today a new work by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Steinkamp. Titled Eon, the 30 x 9 foot video installation was commissioned by Landmarks for the newly renovated Welch Hall, an historic university building that is UT’s largest academic facility and part of the College of Natural Sciences. The project will open September 10 and will be celebrated with online programs that include a live-streamed Q & A with the artist and curatorial contributor Rudolf Frieling. The work may be viewed through Welch Hall’s glass façade on Speedway until the building reopens.

Along with Bill Viola, Martha Rosler and Nam June Paik, Steinkamp is widely credited as a pioneering digital artist. She creates computer-generated environments that explore architecture, nature, and the passage of time. Her immersive installations transform the spaces in which they are sited into hyperreal, simulated natural worlds that blur the line between biological and virtual.

Extending the artist’s interest in biology, Eon takes its inspiration from the concept of symbiosis. Recognized by scientists as a key component of evolution, symbiosis explains the mutual cooperation of unlike organisms—i.e. flowers and the insects and animals that pollinate them, or friendly bacteria inside the human microbiome—as critical to the survival of diverse species. In Steinkamp’s installation, biomorphic shapes undulate across the screen, punctuating an aqueous backdrop with bursts of pink, yellow, and multicolored fragments. The work builds on other of the artists’ projects inspired by the natural world, including Eye Catching, an installation of digital trees for the 2003 Istanbul Biennale and Madame Curie, the focus of her 2011 exhibition for the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

A fitting work of art for the College of Natural Sciences’ largest building, Eon nods to the research that takes place within Welch Hall, encompassing different areas of biology, chemistry, biophysics and statistics and data sciences. The installation will be visible through the building’s glass façade on Speedway, the university’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, and is sure to become an iconic destination on campus and in the community.

“Jennifer Steinkamp is singular in her ability to harness technology,” said Andrée Bober, founder and director of Landmarks. “She’s a master of digital media and her installations make us think about our relationship to nature in entrancing ways.”

Steinkamp’s project marks the 45th work to enter Landmarks’ collection and is the fourth video installation, joining those by James Turrell, Casey Reas, and Ben Rubin. The project furthers Landmarks’ commitment to showcasing wide-ranging media by a diverse mix of artists.

In light of COVID 19, Landmarks will host a virtual opening for the project on September 10 at 4:30 PM CST, with a live-streamed Q & A with Steinkamp, Landmarks director Andrée Bober, College of Natural Sciences Dean Paul M. Goldbart, and curatorial contributor Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts at SF MOMA. Other online resources will include an audio guide, essay by Frieling, a virtual tour of the installation, as well as activity guides for children and adults. Visit www.landmarksut.org for complete details.

The project is sponsored in part by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

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ABOUT JENNIFER STEINKAMP

Jennifer Steinkamp (USA, b. 1958, in Denver, Colorado) is an artist known for her video and new media installations that explore architectural space, motion, and perception. Steinkamp has held solo exhibitions at Stanford University, Stanford (2020); Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong (2019); Talley Dunn, Dallas (2019); Espacio Fundación Telefónica, Madrid (2018); Fosun Foundation, Shanghai (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2016), among others. She received the B-I-G Award from The Liberta Awards! In 2017, the William Penn Foundation fellowship in 2017, and Public Art Network’s Year in Review award in 2014. Her public art is included in the collections of the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; Brunnier Art Museum, Ames; Health Sciences at The University of Arizona, Tucson amongst others. Steinkamp currently resides and works in Los Angeles, California.

ABOUT LANDMARKS

Landmarks is the award-winning public art program of The University of Texas at Austin. Its collection of modern and contemporary art celebrates diverse perspectives, featuring commissioned projects alongside sculptures on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. By making great art free and accessible to all, Landmarks inspires thought and growth. For more information visit: landmarksut.org.

ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES

The College of Natural Sciences is one of the largest colleges of science in the United States, with a community of more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 700 tenure and non-tenure track faculty members, and 1,200 staff. The college is committed to providing its students a world-class, research-based science education, to discovering important new knowledge through research, and to creating an environment that fosters the economic and technological development of Texas and the U.S.

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Landmarks

The University of Texas at Austin
College of Fine Arts
2616 Wichita St., A7100
BWY 3rd Floor
Austin, TX 78712
info@landmarksut.org
512.495.4315

Press Office

Logan Larsen
Digital Content Coordinator
Landmarks
logan.larsen@landmarksut.org
512.232.5904