Tangencies

Benjamin Dearstyne Hoste

2021 MFA Thesis Exhibition
University of Arizona

Virtual Exhibition

MoCA Tucson
May 8

Viewing Details

Biosphere 2
May 15 & 16

Viewing Details

Artist Statement

The mathematical concept of tangency—a perfect and smooth advancement, meeting, and retreat between two curves—provides a point of entry for the work and serves as a metaphor for our deeply shared experiences. Just as tangent circles meld together where they touch, becoming momentarily indistinguishable, so do we when we share intimate and powerful moments.

Tangencies fluidly moves between both shared and private space, utilizing public intervention and installation strategies. Situated in public parks and gathering areas, arrays of tangent circles are drawn with chalk, illustrating our connectedness as well as demarcating personal space. Each circle is slightly larger than six feet in diameter, ensuring that individuals standing within them can be safely distanced from one another. Members of the public are invited to activate the work through occupying tangent circles: distanced if need be or touching if desired. Ephemeral in nature, both the drawings and the momentarily shared experiences they elicit are photographically documented.

This documentation is accompanied by a nearly 14-foot-long and 8-foot-tall corridor in the installation of the work. With arced walls, that smoothly advance and nearly meet before retreating from one another, the corridor creates a natural bottleneck. Reminiscent of hallways commonly found in one’s home, the corridor functions both as a passageway as well as a space where memories reside. While one can often find a collection of framed family photographs in a domestic hallway, this corridor is filled with familial audio recordings—archived voicemails left by the artist’s mother and father—resurrected through the walls themselves, which vibrate and amplify the recorded voices. Nearly tangent, the corridor walls are spaced wide enough to pass through.

Confronting our inextricable linkages with one another, Tangencies reflects and reveals that which is integral to our human experience, our inescapable interconnectedness and its resulting influence on our lives.

Exhibition View, Joseph Gross Gallery

Tangent Array, No. 23
2021
Chalk circles / Archival pigment print
In situ / 32 x 40 in.

Tangent Moments, Nos. 1–60
2021
Two channel video (color, no sound)
1 min. each

Sound Corridor Formed by Arced Walls
2021
Voicemail messages, surface transducers, framing studs, plywood, paint
96 x 115 x 160 in.
Tangent Array, No. 23
2021
Chalk circles / Archival pigment print
In situ / 32 x 40 in.

Gallery Installation

Elements

Tangent Arrays

Using a custom, extra large compass, circles are drawn in chalk such that they are tangent to one or more neighboring circles, creating Tangent Arrays. Each array is organically generated in response to site parameters, and can contain as few as two circles or as many as the site will allow.

Tangent Moments

Members of the public are invited to activate the work by standing in pairs in tangent circles to create Tangent Moments. They are asked to stand facing each other for a full minute—either socially distanced by occupying the center of each circle or together at the tangent point—to silently reflect on the present moment and each other. If only a single participant is available, the artist can participant.

Sound Corridor

With arced walls representing circles of enormous size, the Sound Corridor both occupies and shapes space. The voicemail messages emanating from each wall fill this space, with the center of the corridor being the optimal listening point. As viewers pass through this narrow point their bodies can make contact with both walls, becoming an improvised tangent point between them.

100 Sites &
1,025 Circles

Tangent Arrays were placed across 100 distinct sites, with each ranging in scale from two to eighty-five circles. A total of 1,025 chalk circles were drawn.

60 Moments &
101 Participants

Over 100 people directly participated by sharing a one minute moment of stillness and reflection with another person, creating a total of 60 Tangent Moments.

Tangent Moments, Nos. 22, 26, 27, 35, 41, & 60
2021
Single channel video (no sound)
1 min. each

Tangent Arrays

Exhibition Spaces

1031 North Olive Road
Tucson, AZ 85721
galleries.art.arizona.edu

MoCA Tucson

165 South Church Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701
moca-tucson.org

May 8
Noon – 7 PM
Live Tangent Array Installation

Biosphere 2

32540 South Biosphere Road
Oracle, AZ 85739
biosphere2.org

May 15 & 16
9 AM – 4 PM
Live Tangent Array Installation

Artist Information

Artist Resume / CV
PDF Download

Portfolio Website
dearstynehoste.com

Instagram
@dearstynehoste

Copyright © 2021 – Benjamin Dearstyne Hoste