Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle was born in Madrid, Spain in 1961, and was raised in Bogotá, Colombia and Chicago, Illinois. He earned a BA in art and art history, and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature, from Williams College (1983), and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1989). Manglano-Ovalle’s technologically sophisticated sculptures and video installations use natural forms such as clouds, icebergs, and DNA as metaphors for understanding social issues such as immigration, gun violence, and human cloning. In collaboration with astrophysicists, meteorologists, and medical ethicists, Manglano-Ovalle harnesses extraterrestrial radio signals, weather patterns, and biological code, transforming pure data into digital video projections and sculptures realized through computer rendering. His strategy of representing nature through information leads to an investigation of the underlying forces that shape the planet as well as points of human interaction and interference with the environment. Manglano-Ovalle’s work is attentive to points of intersection between local and global communities, emphasizing the intricate nature of ecosystems. He has received many awards, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (2001) and a Media Arts Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (1997‚Äì2001), as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1995). He has had major exhibitions at the Rochester Art Center, Minnesota (2006); Art Institute of Chicago (2005); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (2003); Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Ohio (2002); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997). Manglano-Ovalle lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
Watch a clip from Manglano-Ovalle’s Art:21 segment:About his work, Manglano-Ovalle says,
“Sometimes I think that people mistake my interest in science, thinking that I’m delving into science for its technology and its research. Really, I’m going through the back door. I’m interested in science as part of culture, as a cultural manifestation. I think of art as not necessarily being made in the studio, but through many conversations, interruptions, and different types of inputs so that one can’t discern if one made the work oneself or if so much has penetrated the process that the work (it’s authorship) is exploded and unlocatable. I also think that is part of science…People think that art fits solely in culture, and that science is not culture. I’m interested in science generated as a cultural necessity.”
(excerpted from the companion book Art in the Twenty-First Century 4, p. 35).
Read more about his work and watch additional clips on his Art:21 webpage here.
Have you experienced Manglano-Ovalle’s work in person, or did you have an opportunity to view his segment in one of the hundreds of Art21 Access ’07 events that have been taking place all month? Share your thoughts on Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle by leaving a comment below.