Spur spotlight: Jason Bruges

Jason Bruges headshot with Spur artist SName: Jason Bruges

Role: Artist [creator of “Rotation Index” on the pedestrian bridge between Hydro and Terra]

What was your journey to becoming an artist?

My mother was an artist, and my father was a computer scientist, so I think the recipe was there from the beginning. I chose to study architecture as an undergraduate but wasn’t satisfied with the static nature of the built environment. I had an interest in technology and performance from a young age so began weaving this into my studies. After university, I worked for Norman Foster and Imagination while continuing to create my own work. I started winning public art competitions and, after a few years, was getting enough commissions to set up my own studio.

How do you classify or categorize your art?

I deliberately operate in a hybrid space that’s hard to categorize. Some describe the work as ‘new media art’ but I don’t find this particularly helpful. My artworks blend architecture and technology, I don’t like to be pigeonholed by labels.

What would you like others to know about your art installation at CSU Spur?

Rotation Index is our first artwork in Colorado. It is located on the interior north elevation of the pedestrian bridge linking [Hydro] and [Terra]. The artwork can be experienced from inside the bridge but is also seen from street level through the glass façade. Digitally representing live lab experiments taking place at Spur, the artwork is like a notice board for the exciting activity happening on Campus.

When Rotation Index launches next year, it will take live data from the Department of Horticulture. We have been working directly with Assistant Professor Jennifer Bousselot and and Assistant Professor Joshua Craver who, alongside their teams, are researching agrivoltaics and the future of plant growth.  A ‘living’ canvas, Rotation Index will create a live link with sensors on the green roof and in the lab’s greenhouses displaying the performance of plants in real-time.

How do you hope visitors engage with your art?

Like most of my work, Rotation Index is deliberately non-didactic. It is meant to spark intrigue and inquisitiveness and is hopefully a catalyst for discussion. There’s an element of performance that I hope captures people’s imaginations and perhaps even disrupts their journey from A-B. I like to think the work gives people reason to pause and connect with the space they are inhabiting. Our digital version of a living wall, the artwork will constantly evolve and change dependant on the activity within the labs and reflecting the changing seasons. Students and staff passing by will never have the same experience, so I hope it provokes them to ask questions about what is happening on campus and how it relates to the wider world.

What else would you like people to know?

Rotation Index has a cellular surface formed of a matrix of rings that take inspiration from the circular fields of Colorado. These digitals cells also reference the use of circular patterns within data visualisations and the idea of an angular mechanism filling and emptying.

Variegation Index, a precursor to this project, was my first artwork taking real-time data from plants.

BIDTAH BECKER

Associate Attorney, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

Ms. Becker has dedicated her career to the Navajo Nation and its natural resources.  She is currently serving as an Associate Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.  Prior to this position, she had the honor of serving as the Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources from May 2013 to January 2019, as an appointee of President Begaye and Vice-President Nez, after serving eleven (11) years as an attorney for the Navajo Nation focusing on water rights and natural resources issues.  Continuing her deep interest and passion for water, she serves on the Leadership Team for the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin, as a Commissioner on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as an appointee of Governor Lujan Grisham, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, as an appointee of Speaker Damon.  Ms. Becker is equally passionate about supporting artists and serves as a Trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture (IAIA), as an appointee of President Obama.  Ms. Becker is a member of the Nation and lives on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance with her husband and two school age children.

Wave art