AiR: Andrew Sempere

July 1, 2010

We’re thrilled to announce our third Artist in Residence! During the month of July, Massachusetts’ ANDREW SEMPERE, who creates and curates interactive installations in real and virtual spaces, will blog about his creative input and output for HiLobrow.

As one half of Push Buttons First, Sempere has produced a number of curatorial experiments with art-partner Mary Lucking, including Artistic Mediums — a show based on the notion of artists working with technology as mediums manipulating invisible forces. His own work seeks to render the familiar unfamiliar. One such work, “GrassHappy,” gives a voice to a pot of ordinary living grass. The grass rests on a glass-topped box, underlit by a soft purple glow. As people touch the grass, it gets happier — the color of the glow changes from purple to blue and eventually to bright green.

Sempere’s installations are usually site- or event-specific. “Crowd Reign” (detail above) is a projection of a rain simulator whose drops are controlled by the volume of a crowd in a space. The piece reflects the mood of a space: i.e., the louder the crowd, the more raucous the rain. One of our favorite Sempere installations is “Sod Off,” a 100-square-foot lawn on which gallery visitors are invited to walk and sit. Sit or stand a while, and the grass begins to growl, louder and louder until the floor shakes.

Another of Sempere’s obsessions is subway travel. He’s made a video blending an audio clip of his daily commute with a subway-like view of his house (above). And he’s working on a replica of the Greater New York Memory Container (GNMC), a device he claims was installed in 1904 during the construction of New York’s City Hall station, then removed in ’31. Hopefully, he’ll tell HiLobrow readers more about this.

Please join me in welcoming Andrew Sempere to HiLobrow!

PS: Joshua Glenn interviewed Sempere in February 2010, for the SXSW-focused blog Indirect Collaboration. Also, Andrew’s wife, educator and writer Anindita Basu Sempere, has performed on our science-fiction podcast.


In November 2009, HiLobrow introduced our first Artist in Residence: PEGGY NELSON. Nelson’s avatars, 2D barcodes, traffic cones, polaroids, and fashion projects playfully address questions of identity, virtual reality, science, and the social construction of reality, not to mention the metaphors via which we construct our silicon models and social spaces.

In February 2010, HiLobrow introduced our second Artist in Residence: EDRIE EDRIE. Edrie works with new-media ideas, too. She collaborates with other artists on 2D, 3D, and 4D projects encompassing sculpture, music, video, and performance art.

All posts by’s artists in residence can be accessed here.


Art, Kudos