Pulled Apart

March 1-April 25, 2021

Online exhibition and programs
Thacher Gallery, University of San Francisco

Terry Berlier, Adam Chin, Cynthia Hooper, Carrie Hott, and Gail Wight
(Click names above to visit their exhibition page)

In Pulled Apart, we experience works by artists examining the mechanisms of gadgets, scientific instruments, and computer technologies to reveal the internal and external systems that help shape society.

Clockwise, starting at top left - Details of artworks by Cynthia Hooper, Terry Berlier, Adam Chin, Carrie Hott, and Gail Wight

Each artist approaches engineering in a unique way. Terry Berlier adapts mechanical systems, microcontrollers, and software to build kinetic sculptures and installations that explore the precarity of human relationships. Using Machine Learning neural networks trained on databases of actual photographs, Adam Chin creates portraits that exist between the real and the imitation. The detailed paintings and videos by Cynthia Hooper show human infrastructure intersecting with the environment, while Carrie Hott’s videos of an evolving miniature room bring us indoors to explore how constant connectivity and hidden networks inform our decisions. Finally, throu/thacher-gallery/pulled-apart/gail-wight">Gail Wight’s anatomical studies of mechanical toys we see the uncanny ways that nature and the human-made reflect each other.

Whether it be the use of the 16th century Cardan Gear or 21st century computer algorithms, each artist's approach reminds viewers of the possibilities of engineering as well as our complex relationship with the systems we've created.

A digital catalog with additional text from the artists is available upon request: thachergallery@usfca.edu.

Co-presented with USF’s Engineering Program

Pulled Apart brings USF Engineering professors in conversation with these artists to illuminate the elements of engineering in the artists’ practices. Join us for our opening event and public programs:

  • Monday, Mar. 1, 5-6:30 p.m.
    Opening celebration with the artists
    Followed by a conversation with engineer Lou Sassoubre and artist Cynthia Hooper
  • Monday, Mar. 22, 5-6 p.m.
    Engineer Genna Smith in conversation with artists Terry Berlier and Gail Wight
  • Monday, Apr. 5, 5-6 p.m.
    Engineer Chris Brooks in conversation with artists Adam Chin and Carrie Hott
  • Thursday, Apr. 8, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
    Art + Architecture Lecture Series: Exhibition tour with gallery director Glori Simmons


Artists: Terry Berlier, Adam Chin, Cynthia Hooper, Carrie Hott, and Gail Wight
Curatorial Team: Liat Berdugo, Nell Herbert, Sean Olson, and Glori Simmons
Engineering Collaborators: Hana Böttger and N. Jeremy Kasdin with Christopher Brooks, Elizabeth Mickaily-Huber, William Riggs, Lauren Sassoubre, Gennifer Smith, and Julia Thompson
Design: Ashley Boney (web) and Andrea Gonzales (‘21) (print and publicity)
Programs and preparation: Victoria Farlow, Delaney Gibbons (‘20), and Somer Taylor (‘22)