Monday, March 24, 2008


WELCOME to Treiastudios’ blog on Emergy, the current project in production.

Emergy is an interactive installation art project bridging sculpture, performance, media arts, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering. At the nucleus of the installation is a 9ft mechanized rowboat that will generate electricity to power lights in the gallery. The project investigates romantic attachments to traditional notions of technology, production and land use. The created environment examines energy and water consumption in an urban desert environment by contrasting human consumption with human expenditure. Raising awareness through embodied experience, the visitor will come to know what it takes to create energy that powers our world.

The purpose for this blog is to raise community interest in the project and to invite participants to pledge a block/blocks of time to row the boat during the exhibition (March 24-28, 2008, Harry Wood Gallery, Tempe, AZ).

The show was a great success! Visit this site for future exhibits of Emergy. For information on how to bring Emergy to your school or venue please contact Maria Michails or

You can come see the boat once more at the Herberger College School of Art scholarship fundraising event held at Chipotle's at Tempe Marketplace, Thursday April 17, 5-9 pm.


The following entries are about the progress of the project. Thanks for visiting, do visit often for updates and enjoy the read!


The show opened today to wonderful response! The weekend of installing was extremely taxing--I am exhausted, now running on adrenalin. All the people who came out to help were awesome and I give much of the credit to them for the final outcome. My oral defense was smooth and the dialogue very engaging. Is this how it's supposed to be? They didn't grill me, they asked me intelligent questions and had positive comments. The word poetic came up all day. Some felt the show lacked it slightly others felt it come through. I never really thought it important. It either is or is not but it's not something I purposely tried to achieve.

During the times when others were rowing I remained backstage and at one point managed to write. I listened to the sound of the row machine (the seat is squealing) as the person went back and forth. As one professor said, it reminded her of an old Russian factory sound. A soothing repetitive sound. The sound can be heard outside of the gallery and is a great way to draw people in. There are distinct lines and patterns being made, both visual and aural. These were somewhat intentional but for the most part, the work creates this on its own. Most people responded to the actual shape of the space. It is very organic but yet, because of its whiteness or even the rectangular shape of the plexi images, comes across quite science-y. I'm very pleased with that kind of cross-over.

Here's a review a friend wrote into his iPhone while experiencing the show:

"The centerpiece of the exhibit is a boat that, through the act of rowing, energizes lights in the enfolding space to illuminate delicate photographic cels. The work directly names the existence of an ephemeral, if not transcendent, aether capacitated within all life around us. The rhythmic work.... of being alive... metabolizes that unseen nature around us into visibility. The work suggests our evolution if new sensory organ by which we may know the world. With each stroke the space pulses with the evidential glow of life. The work, like a simulacra, reinacts the same vital process that we perform at each breath - the cultivation of life. This respiration evokes awareness that, regardless of artifice, the world around us is desperately sensitive to all of our actions." ~Zak Jones

Come in and experience the show!

Installation view upon entering the space.

Performer-rower Kathryn Pinto.

Close up of the photos and LED lights.

To read EMERGY statement click here or read below.


Here's a short video that takes you into the installation:

Camera by Ryan Spicer


An installation of this magnitude is never by the hands of one person alone. I thank every person who has generously given in some way, large and small, to making this project come to fruition. I especially want to extend my gratitude to the following:

To my committee members

Angela Ellsworth, Hilary Harp, David Birchfield
and Denis Gillingwater
(it’s a really good thing you said 'no' to the strawbale idea)

To the installation crew, whose help was pivotal to the final outcome of the show--I could never have made it look as good without your help

Corrie Cole, Katerina Dimitrova, Jana Evans, Mike Ford, Nathan Lewis, Matt Mechtley, Mikaela Meredith, Ryan Miller, Craig Randich, Ellie Richards, Becky Stern, Lisa von Koch, Sebastian Wittig

To Hilary Harp, Byron Lahey and Katerina Dimitrova
for helping me from the very beginning and when I most needed it

To Tom Eckert, Ellie Richards, Tony Perez and Diego
for valuable advice, skill and especially letting me over extend my stay in the woodshop

To Damon McIntyre for the beautiful wall panels


To the rowers-performers
without you there is no reason for the show

Julie Anand
Rebecca Clark
Dan Collins
Jenna Dillon
Jana Evan
Allyn Knox
Byron Lahey
Laurie Lundquist
Sarah Machacek
Ed Maney
Melissa Marriott
Matt Mechtley
Brandon Mechtley
Ann Morton
Laine Nelson
Linda Parker
Kathryn Pinto
Alicia Porter
Brian Scholer
Aaron Spalding
Ryan Spicer
Lisa vonKoch
Gordon Wichern

Thank you also to:

Radek Roucka, Assegid Kidane, Tom Wykes, Gene Carpenter, Lisa and Sean Hardigree, Rob Evans Jr., Vicki Kelley, Carol Cox, Linda Quihuis, Cindy Noldy, Linda Essig, Dave Coffman, and to the many others who contributed to the success of this project!

This project is made possible by the generous support of
p.a.v.e., the arts entrepreneurship program of the ASU School of Theatre and Film;
Entrepreneur Advantage Project (EAP), made possible through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and ASU; GPSA-the Graduate Professional Student Association; and ASU School of Art