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Laleh Mehran’s “Entropic Systems” in Space 204, September 8 – October 20

Posted by on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 in News and Events.

Space 204 and the Vanderbilt, Arts, and the Middle East: Building Bridges to the Global and the Local curatorial program are proud to present Entropic Systems, a solo exhibition from Laleh Mehran.  The exhibition will be on view September 8 through October 20, 2022 in Space 204 will feature an immersive video/audio experience surrounding an engineered drawing piece activated by the movement of gallery visitors.

Laleh Mehran, “Entropic System (detail)” Interactive Artwork, 2016, 2017

About Entropic System:

Entropic System is an interactive artwork comprised of a 2-axis “drawing” machine and a real-time display screen. The machine draws on a terrain of glimmering Black Beauty sand (that is, in fact, coal slag). A solid gold-colored pendulum is suspended from the machine to graze the surface of the sand. Controlled by a small microcontroller, the pendulum slowly inscribes complex geometric patterns covering the surface of the sand over a period of time. Motion sensors detect when visitors are in close proximity and cause the machine to move much quicker, spurring the pendulum to swing and spiral – altering the originally calculated geometry. It can then take several minutes for the machine to stabilize and return to its purpose of creating pure patterns. On the nearby screen, a continuous real-time feed provides a satellite point-of- view of the pendulum’s movements. This system is symbolic of the politicization of ideologies, dictating responses to activities outside and within its borders.

~ Laleh Mehran, artist

About Laleh Mehran

Laleh Mehran was born in Iran and relocated with her family to the United States at the start of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. She creates elaborate environments in digital and physical spaces focused on complex intersections between politics, religion, and science. Mehran is a Professor of Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work has been shown individually and collaboratively in the USA and international venues including the ISEA (United Arab Emirates), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), FILE (Brazil), ACT Festival (South Korea), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Massachusetts), Mattress Factory Museum (Pennsylvania), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pennsylvania), The Georgia Museum of Art (Georgia), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pennsylvania), Denver Art Museum (Colorado), Biennial of the Americas at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Colorado), 404 International Festival of Art & Technology (Argentina), Next 5 Minutes 4 Tactical Media Festival (Netherlands), European Media Arts Festival (Germany), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Colorado), Currents: The Santa Fe International New Media Festival (New Mexico), and the Pittsburgh Biennial (Pennsylvania). Mehran has received awards including the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Creative Capital Foundation Grant (as subRosa collective) and the Mission Strategic Resource Plan for Enhancing Mutual Understanding for The Embassy of the USA in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Space 204 and Laleh Mehran would like to acknowledge Chris Coleman and Reza Filsoofi for the assist with the installation process of Entropic Systems. Chris Coleman is a close collaborator of Mehran in the role of mechanical engineer – setting up and fine tuning the projection system and drawing machine mechanisms.  Reza Filsoofi assisted Mehran with audio editing/composition heard in the exhibition

Middle Eastern Program

Entropic Systems will be on view in Space 204, the contemporary gallery space located on the second floor of the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center, Vanderbilt University. This exhibition is part of the Vanderbilt, Arts, and the Middle East: Building Bridges to the Global and the Local curatorial program, organized by the exhibition committee: Raheleh Filsoofi, Jonathan Rattner, and Qais Assali.

The Middle Eastern program for the 2022 calendar year will focus on Middle Eastern themes and issues.  Artists from different disciplines will demonstrate a variety of approaches to visual representation, performance, and graphic design.  The exhibitions that compose the program will be complemented by academic round table discussions which will take place within the didactic visual environments that we establish. The program’s goal is to raise awareness of the Middle East and connect the university with Middle Eastern communities in the larger Nashville population enhancing and promoting the university’s community engagement.

Laleh Mehran, “Entropic Systems”  Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Details

Dates: September 8 – October 20, 2022
Location: Space 204, E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center, 1204 25th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37240
Gallery Hours: Mondays thru Fridays, 10AM to 4:30PM
Contact: The Vanderbilt University Department of Art via

This exhibition is free and open to the public.