Bellwether 2022 Celebrates the Power of Art and Technology
Located on the Compass Plaza outside the Bellevue Connection lies a rectangular box with four figures drawn on each side. Their bodies are wrapped with colorful hypnotic swirls, and those who dare scan the QR code nearby are met with a giant version of the figure that moves along with your phone in the real-world environment – This is a sign that Bellwether 2022 has arrived in Downtown Bellevue.
The artwork #GLITCHGODDESS created by artist Marjan Moghaddam is part of Bellwether’s concept for this year – a deep exploration of art and technology. Her work is known as augmented reality art, the ability to bring 2D art to life. Lore Hoffman, Arts Community Manager at the City of Bellevue, said Bellwether’s decision to highlight art + tech shows the true reflection of Bellevue’s core competency as a community.
“The city of Bellevue is a tech hub, and we believe that Bellwether is a great opportunity to meld art and culture with that area of expertise,” Hoffman said. “Artists are always pushing the bounds of technology and augmented reality is a great example of that.”
Bellwether, produced by the City of Bellevue and presented in partnership with the city's Arts Commission, has been around for about 20 years now. What used to be a biennial event has turned into an annual program to encompass new forms of art and culture as well as harness the city’s growth and support artists year-round. Hoffman said Bellwether is a chance for the public to see something outside the walls of an art institution.
“It’s accessible to everyone when we’re able to take art into a public space where the community can engage with it in everyday life,” Hoffman said. “I think it’s an opportunity to explore and invite the people for an art exploration without any barriers.”
All Bellwether events are free and open to the public. This year, Bellwether is exploring art and technology with four areas of engagement:
Digital Residencies are a new way to exhibit art as part of the Bellwether Arts Festival. Selected artists will present videos, 2D images, 3D works in progress, ephemeral experiences, AI-Generated designs, and so much more throughout September. Content will be featured on the artists’ social media channels, through the Bellevue Arts Program, and at the Bellwether Arts Festival. Proceed to Bellwether's Instagram at: @bellwether_arts, @bellvueartsprogram, and at the artists’ pages found below.
September 2-8: Dustin Curtis // Trivia Puppet Company (@triviapuppet)
Marjan Moghaddam is an award-winning, pioneering digital artist and animator who works primarily with 3D CG and digital media for animation, NFT, Net Art, print, sculpture, installation, and AR/VR. She is considered one of the top female 3D CG artists in the world. Publicly acclaimed as the first feminist digital art piece to hit viral metrics, #GlitchGoddess disrupts the legacy artworld’s depiction of the female form singularly while switching from slender, heavy, young, old, pregnant, glitched, stylized to artistically abstracted, set to a voiceover of women complaining about inequality in the art world.
#GlitchGoddess was initially presented in the Puget Sound area as part of AUGMENT Seattle 2022 after its commission at VMF Winter Arts. Find out more on their Instagram at: @marjan_moghaddam_artist@futureartsco.
In 2020, the Bellevue Arts Commission purchased 21 new works for the Portable Art Collection. The goal of growing the collection of portable artworks is to diversify the collection by adding a range of visual art mediums and artistic voices. Portable art will also increase the number of artworks accessible in city-owned buildings in Bellevue neighborhoods. In 2022, the Bellevue A
rts Commission purchased 29 artworks to continue supporting local artists through the COVID-19 pandemic. The call for artworks garnered over 1,000 available works submitted for purchase. Complete lists of purchased work, along with artist bios and statements, can be found on the city’s Portable Art web page under 2022 artworks.
Get a glimpse behind the curtain in this 90-minute conversation with artists in the tech field. ggLocators’ Cami Smith moderates a conversation with Netflix Animation Studios Recruiter Camille Leganza and Netflix Games Platform Senior Recruiter Miguel Calderon about the symbiotic relationship between tech and art. More information about the panelists can be found on Bellwether's websiteor PACE's Instagram.