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03.26.10 - 05.16.10 | SCI-Arc Gallery
Juan Azulay / Matter Management: Vivarium

SCI-Arc Exclusive Online Broadcast
Flood Stains: Lydia Lunch + Juan Azulay
Monday, May 3, 7:30pm
Live Broadcast Only at

Renowned artist Lydia Lunch joins architect Juan Azulay in an experimental performance broadcast live from the SCI-Arc Gallery.

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Juan Azulay and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss Vivarium Watch the discussion video >>
The exhibition remains on view through May 16.

SCI-Arc alum Juan Azulay's experimental installation in the SCI-Arc Gallery explores the relationship between technology, media, and environmental preservation / dereliction. It incisively speaks to the inherent connection between technology and the environment by placing itself in the midst of processes of intense transformation within the ecosystem it has isolated.

In recent years, Azulay has worked on hybrid designs that harness natural phenomena and connect them to new ideas about architectural problematization. This exhibition reflects a shift from the direst experience of life to the experience of media-augmented environment, in which flows of energy regulate processes and generate culture.

Occupying the main floor of the gallery is a monolithic sunken pyramid that contains a 'vivarium,' or collection of organisms that, in this case, are real, robotic and/or simulated. As a collective, these organisms generate energy capable of transforming a freshwater ecosystem into a brackish one, a process made possible by the permeability controls that the skin of the pyramid produces and the behavior that the 'machine' generates. Virtual (digital) organisms mimic the behavior of both the living and robotic microorganisms to intensify and lubricate the process.

Investigating the physical and metaphoric space between biology and architecture, the installation will fuse these organisms within the vivarium, creating a new hybrid ecology that will grow and self-stabilize throughout the exhibition period of three months.

This exhibition made possible, in part through a generous contribution from the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Vivarium in the News:
May 2010: Abitare, Lydia Lunch + Juan Azulay @ Sci-Arc
May 2010: Bunker Hill magazine, Review: Vivarium
April 2010: Abitare, Juan Azulay/Matter Management: Vivarium
April 2010: ForYourArt, Vivarium
March 2010: BLDG BLOG, Vivarium
March 2010: Design Boom, Juan Azulay/Matter Management: Vivarium
March 2010: Tryharder - the LA art blog, Juan Azulay @ SCI-Arc Gallery

Juan Azulay (B. Arch '89) is the director of the 10-year old Los Angeles-based firm Matter Management. His award-winning practice ranges widely in discipline, methodology and media, spanning works in architecture, such as the Aquatic Terrarium for the New Barcelona Zoo (2001) and a winning entry to the MAK's Vertical Garden Competition (2006), to film, including the feature The Blue of Noon (2010) and short film fest nominee Yu Tsun (2008).

Azulay received his B.Arch. from SCI-Arc and his Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD) from Columbia University. He is currently on the Design and Visual Studies faculty at SCI-Arc, teaching design studio in the MediaSCAPES program as well as serving on the Academic Council and the Admissions Committee. He also has taught design studios at Columbia's GSAP and at the ETSAV in Barcelona.

Read Juan Azulay's interview in ReVista - the Harvard Review of Latin America

More about Juan Azulay >>