Hold Still and Chorus at Swarthmore College

detail of Siren, 2016, included in Hold Still at Swarthmore College

I am pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition and outdoor projection series: Hold Still is a solo exhibition at the List Gallery, Swarthmore College, and Chorus is a week-long series of nighttime video projections (plus one live performance) that will take place on Swarthmore’s campus. Hold Still will open on Thursday, November 8, and Chorus will be on view each night leading up to and including the opening, November 5 – 8. Chorus will conclude with a live performance featuring student vocalists on Friday, November 9th.

Please visit the List Gallery website for more info:



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About Chorus

site test for Chorus, exterior of Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College

Chorus is a project I am developing for the Swarthmore College campus, to be installed fall 2018.  It consists of a series of video projections and a live performance, to take place outside in the quad between the Science Center and Kohlberg hall, on the north end of campus. Chorus is about expressive human gesture, specifically breathing, and how a breath can take on poetic potential as it relates to voice, song, and speech.  Chorus is also about taking the idea of intellectual discourse, and turning it into sound – making a song out of it – and in particular a song with many and diverse voices.

Chorus is based on an earlier project of mine, called Siren, which uses spinning projectors and a vocalist singing notes for as long as her breath can sustain.  When she sings, her image steadies, and when her breath runs out, it spins rapidly until she catches her breath and sings again.  In Siren, I used porthole-like screens and three of these spinning projectors, and my one vocalist’s voice would become a duet or a trio, singing constantly shifting combinations of these single, breath-long notes.

For Chorus, I plan to take this project outside, and project these spinning videos very large, on the faces of the buildings around the north quad. Chorus will evolve over the course of four nights, with each night adding a new projection, so it will grow from solo to duet to trio to quartet. I will also use four Swarthmore student vocalists, and have these different voices mix and blend throughout that public space as people walk through it.

The final night of the project, I will create a short live performance. The four vocalists will assemble on a temporary stage at the center of the quad, at the same time as the four large-scale projections are playing all around.  The idea is for the live singers to sing breath-length, individual notes, accompanying their video selves, and going from four voices to eight in a loosely structured improvised vocal performance.  The performance will last about 15 minutes, and will highlight the voices of students who are willing to collaborate, listen, be in the moment, and add their unique voices.



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InLight Richmond 2017

For the last nine years, 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA has organized InLight Richmond, a free, public, mostly outdoor exhibition of light-based art and live performance.  I’m excited to be participating in this year’s 10th annual festival.  I will be exhibiting Aurora, an installation which evokes a rare natural phenomenon with humble means.  Catch the one-night festival on Friday, November 3rd.

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In Rotation

At Deerfield Academy, not far from where I live, they have recently expanded their arts facilities and have added a beautiful new gallery to their campus. I am excited to be presenting a solo show — Robin Mandel: In Rotation — focusing on the evolution of motion in my work over the last 10-plus years.  Kinetic sculpture, photography, video, as well as a collection of some of my custom-built camera devices will all be on view. The opening reception is Sunday, September 17th, from 5 to 7:30 pm.  The show is up through October 30th.

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In the World Today…

…it can be scary.  Luckily, there are places to go for a brief comedic respite from your daily horror show. For example, you might visit Flux Factory in Queens, NY for the opening of Humorgous Smorgasbord, a show where art, humor, and incongruity collide. The World Today (pictured above) is one of my recent video works to be featured, along with Breathing Water and Motion Studies – Cleveland.  The opening is Friday, September 8, from 6 to 10 pm, and will include live performances and (I am told) Lagunitas beer.  Show runs through September 16th.

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Exhibition at Boston Cyberarts Gallery

Siren, 2016, installation detail

Siren, 2016, installation detail

Constructed Video at Boston Cyberarts Gallery
exhibition dates: November 12 to December 18, 2016
opening reception: Friday, November 11 from 6 to 8 pm
gallery location: 41 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

My new installation Siren will be featured in a three-person exhibition at Boston Cyberarts Gallery.  I’m excited to show my work again in this space – the first time was way back in 2005 when it was the Green Street Gallery led by the inimitable James Hull.  These days it’s run by the new media expert George Fifield and is part of his larger Boston Cyberarts endeavor, which organizes exhibits, public projects, and education events all over the city of Boston.

The show also includes the excellent and engaging work of Andrew Neumann and Georgie Friedman.  I hope to see you at the opening!

Siren, 2016, detail of screen

Siren, 2016, detail of screen

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New Wave at NYPOP in Chelsea, NYC


Opening reception: Thursday, June 2, 6 – 8 pm
526 W. 26th Street, Suite 314, New York, NY 10001

New Wave is a group show of five artists, all my new faculty colleagues at UMass Amherst. I am excited for us to see our work together for the first time! I will be showing sculpture (including the work pictured above), and the exhibit will also feature video, prints, and installations.

The show runs from June 2 to June 29, and is open Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm and by appointment. Contact the gallery at 212.633.6826 or

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Currents 2016 Santa Fe, NM in June

My installation The Hold Series will be included in Currents 2016, The Santa Fe International New Media Exhibition and Festival.  The show runs from June 10-26, 2016 at a number of top-notch venues all over the city.  I’m excited to be included and I will be there for the opening weekend, June 10-12.  Come join me!


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Prizewinners Show at Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven CT

UPDATE 2/24/16: read the review from the New Haven Independent here! And check out images from the opening

I have new work in a two-person show at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT.  The show follows my selection by juror George Fifield as one of two Prizewinners from Intelligent Objects, also at CAW, in June 2015.  I have six new sculptures and one video on display, alongside the elegant work of Joseph Morris.  The show is on view until February 26, 2016.

CAW Prizewinners Install

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Solo show – Herter Gallery at UMass Amherst

Preparations are underway for my solo show at Herter Gallery, UMass Amherst. Opening reception on September 17 from 4 to 6 pm; show runs from Sept. 17 to Oct. 18. I’ll be showing new works from my Hold series, as well as a new video work and a kinetic sculpture from 2011 that links it all together. Many huge thanks to Bryan Simmons and Jo Dery for their help with this most recent work!

Gallery hours: Monday through Friday 11 am – 4 pm, Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm (closed Saturdays)
Gallery phone: (413) 545-0976

Contact me for more info!


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Intelligent Objects – prizewinner!

At the opening reception for Intelligent Objects at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT, I was announced as one the two prizewinners by curator George Fifield.  This means I will be having a solo show at Creative Arts Workshop in Winter 2016!  Exact dates TBD, check back for more news or subscribe to the mailing list.

Here’s George Fifield making his remarks at the opening, as seen from the second floor:


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Intelligent Objects at Creative Arts Workshop

I have a piece in Intelligent Objects, an exhibition juried by George Fifield at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT. The show is on view until July 17, with an opening reception on Friday, June 12, from 5 to 7 pm.

George Fifield is the Director of Boston Cyberarts, and a leading curator, writer and educator in the field of new media. The exhibit features work that combines “traditional visual art forms and digital technology; objects that appear to be responsive to our existence, or at least demand an empathy if not an emotion.”

The piece I have in the show is Hold #1:

Hold #1 (detail)

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I recently had a piece included in MIFFONEDGE Vol.2, an art exhibit mounted in conjunction with the 17th Annual Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, Maine. The exhibit was organized by Gary Green, associate professor of photography, Steve Wurtzler, associate professor of cinema studies (both at Colby College) and Shannon Haines, director of the Maine Film Center. The exhibit included work cinema-inspired work by a host of great artists; one of my favorites was John Coffer, whose tintype animations were an amazing collision of old and new.

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Wassaic Project – Seeing the Sky

I recently completed the installation of my piece as part of the Wassaic Project’s 2014 Summer Exhibition. Thanks so much to everyone at Wassaic, especially Shannon Finnegan, Lauren Was, and Adam Eckstrom! The piece is called Foreign and Domestic and the show is called Seeing the Sky.  I’ll be on site for the Summer Festival, August 1-3, hope to see you there!

Foreign and Domestic

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Micro Art Space Residency and Show

In June I will be in residence at Micro Art Space, a new artist-run residency and exhibition space in Cleveland.  I will be working on several photo and video projects during my two-week stay, which will culminate in an exhibition opening on June 20.

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Wassaic Project – Summer Exhibition

My work will be included in the 2014 Summer Exhibiton at the Wassaic Project, an artist residency program and art venue in Wassaic, NY.  The show will run from early June to early September.  August 1-3 will be the Summer Festival, which will include music, performance, and dance in addition to the artwork on display in the galleries.

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My work will be included in the exhibition MIFFONEDGE Vol. 1, organized in conjunction with the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, Maine. MIFFONEDGE “highlights work that pushes the boundaries of commonly accepted notions of film.” Other artists include Michael P. Barry, Alejandro Cesarco, Angela Dufresne, Kerry Laitala, and Nam June Paik. I will have two pieces on display: Perennial and Motion Studies. The exhibit runs from July 13 to July 20, 2013, and is open from 2pm to 9pm each day.


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UMass Amherst!

I am very excited to announce that I will be joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst this coming fall.  As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History, I will be teaching all levels of sculpture as well as 3D foundations.

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2012 CMCA Biennial

I will have two pieces in the Center for Maine Contemporary Art’s 2012 Biennial Exhibition. The works are both video-based, which is a first for me in a large exhibition such as this. The opening is Saturday, September 29, from 4 to 6 pm.

CMCA Biennial

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Teaching at UMF for 2012-2013

For the academic year 2012/2013, I will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Maine at Farmington. I will be teaching all levels of sculpture, plus a few special courses in kinetics and non-traditional media and practices.

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Pecha Kucha Waterville

On July 20, I will be presenting at another Pecha Kucha Night, this time in Waterville, ME. The event will be held in the Hathaway Creative Center and it starts at 6:30.

UPDATE: see photos from the event here.

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Artist’s talk at MECA

I will be speaking about my work with the Sculpture majors at the Maine College of Art in Portland at 10:30 am on April 12, 2012.

Robin Mandel-poster

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Pecha Kucha event at CMCA in Rockport, ME

On February 17, 2012, I will be particiapting in a Pecha Kucha session at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. Doors open at 6:30, presentations start at 7. Admission $5.

Update: video of the entire event is available here – my presentation begins at the 48:35 mark.

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Everywhere and Nowhere at Laconia Gallery

Everywhere and Nowhere
A site-specific installation by Robin Mandel
Laconia Gallery
433 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA
December 16 – January 29, 2012
Artist Gallery Talk + First Friday Reception, January 6, 2012, 5:30 – 8 PM

Everywhere and Nowhere at Laconia Gallery, 2011

The seed of this work at Laconia Gallery work is how the mirror triples itself, becoming object, shadow, and reflection, and how these three converge at the border between light and dark.  There is something about the activity at that point – dynamic and yet self-cancelling – that fits together with the rest of my current work.  I’ve been interested in motion and stillness, how things can move to become still.  I have been setting up systems where forces are active but balanced, each one acting against another, and exploring the connotations that can arise from that; harmony and concordance, but also deadlock and impasse.

The work is also a reaction to my somewhat nomadic studio practice of the past few years, during which I have felt the burden of possessing the things I make.  I began to want to make sculpture out of nothing, or almost nothing, and the idea of manipulating light as a sculptural material seemed a way to approach this paradoxical desire.  Part of the beauty of these arrow installation pieces for me is that I can fill a large room with a very dynamic visual experience, but when the show is over it breaks down into a box of lights and a box of arrows.  It almost disappears.  And as you view it in the room, and walk between the wall and the light sources, your shadow is cast across the piece and you make it disappear for a brief moment.  I like that ephemerality; it’s there and then it’s not.

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