Sphere’s ‘Dark Web’ Comes to River Campus as 2018 Juror’s Showcase


“Dark Web” will be on display in Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus Art Gallery March 5-28 with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. March 2.

An artist’s lecture is scheduled for noon-1 p.m. March 28 in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center.

The exhibition will feature work from digital/mixed media from Sphere, an artist collective of Brian Patrick Franklin, associate professor of expanded media at Illinois State University, and Christopher Wille, professor of art at Eureka College.

Franklin received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a Master of Fine Arts from Pennsylvania State University. Wille received a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Fine Arts from Illinois State University.

The exhibition displays artwork created mostly with non-traditional mediums such as video, digital media, 3-D printing and more, and delves into the topic of security and privacy in the electronic era.

Sphere’s work explores the complicated relationship between virtual and physical objects, actions, and identities, giving concrete form to vague landscapes of networked activity. Sculptures and drawings portray a density and confusion along with structured beauty that toys with the notion of abstraction as encryption. The viewer or participant is offered a brief sense of agency, peppered with uncertainty, within the largely invisible systems of virtual financial currency and the dark web.

Sphere’s work has been exhibited and presented in traditional galleries as well as prominent festivals and conferences including The World Maker Faire in New York City, New York, The Digital Games Research Association Annual Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, “Chicago Games as Art and Culture,” at Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the “Stimulus/Response/Affect” exhibition and symposium at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Franklin and Wille are this year’s jurors at “The Annual Juried Student Exhibition” to be displayed in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum April 6-29.

The River Campus Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the historic Seminary Building in Room 106.

River Campus Art Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-7 p.m. on First Fridays. All gallery exhibitions, events and talks are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Justin Miller at jhmiller@semo.edu or (573) 651-2865.