Current Exhibitions

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation presents ongoing seasonal rotations of new acquisitions and installations from its collection of global contemporary and historic digital art.


Earth Algorithms: Landscapes of the Digital Age
On view until July, 2020

Lee Nam Lee, Cartoon Folding Screen II (detail), 2010, digital video on 5 monitors with audio

Earth Algorithms demonstrates how artists use new tools such as computational algorithms to engage the tradition of landscape art. Bringing together three artworks from South Korea, Japan, and Ethiopia, the exhibit is a case study of contemporary “natural resources” in today’s digital, globalized era, from bamboo and bottlecaps to internet jpegs. Artists Syōryū Honda, Lee Nam Lee, and Elias Sime rethink these materials as renewable technologies ripe for creative harvest in their landscape-inspired artworks. Using weaving, assemblage, and video, the artists propose a role of artistic intelligence to realize change in the world.


“People on the Fly” by Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau
On view until May, 2020

Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer, People on the Fly, 2016, interactive digital animation with camera, custom software, computer, and projector

Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau’s 2016 digital artwork People on the Fly makes its U.S. debut at Art House in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In this interactive installation, People on the Fly attracts a virtual swarm of houseflies to a visitor’s captured image using the artists’ custom swarming algorithm. With this algorithm, only bodies in motion will invite the flies.Insect swarms provide artificial-intelligence researchers with models for understanding how lifeforms make decisions on a particle level, as a swarm thinks cooperatively, without a dominant leader. In this way, a swarm communicates through networked intelligence, a theory called emergence. Software algorithms designed to simulate biological systems can learn from swarm behavior, producing digital data that, in turn, may implicate genetics, social order, and creativity.


Digital Artifacts
On view until November, 2019

Michal Rovner, Dahui, 2004, steel vitrine, glass, stone, DVD

The thematic installation Digital Artifacts brings together the work of five internationally renowned artists to consider contemporary digital culture in a wholly new way—from the perspective of future archaeologists uncovering its remnants. Featuring works by artists Michal Rovner, Casey Reas, Guillermo Galindo, Josh Tonsfeldt, and Sabrina Gschwandtner, Digital Artifacts emphasizes the material aspects of technology in a field that increasingly prioritizes simulated experiences in immaterial spaces, as in online communities or multiplayer video games.


“Particle Field” by Leo Villareal
On view until February, 2020

Leo Villareal, Particle Field (Triptych), 2017, digital animation

This artwork is in a constant state of creation. Leo Villareal programmed Particle Field to generate a live, ever-changing composition. Its custom code is vital to the artwork’s identity and experience.

Villareal invokes with his triptych the sacred power of Renaissance altarpieces and the expressive energy of 20th century Color Field painters and performers. The artist said of his digital abstraction, “I wanted to make something that feels like it has existed for a long time using a very contemporary use of technology.”

Villareal produces the world’s largest outdoor light installations in which LEDs are treated as networked pixels across steel bridges and riverbanks. For his monitor-based artworks, Villareal makes use of the latest advance in display technology, the OLED screen, capable of individual cell illumination and the deepest black levels yet invented. Villareal’s algorithm pushes gigabytes of data across 24 million combined pixels in a choreography of orderly chaos.


Red Ladder (Backstage) by Iván Navarro
On view until 2021

Iván Navarro, Red Ladder (Backstage), 2005, fluorescent light, color sleeves, metal fixtures, electric energy

Navarro grew up in Chile under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973–1989). He reflects, “I never traveled outside Chile during that period. We lived with the feeling of fear every day because it was a violent situation… The power went down every other day around nine o’clock at night until five the next morning in order to keep people in their houses and under control… The everyday reality was getting ready for the night—food, candles, water. Because when the power went out, the water went off. We knew every other night was going to be like that.”Navarro relocated to New York in 1997 where he has consistently used electronic light as an expressive and inspiring material, such as Red Ladder, which evokes a fictional portal for escape to an alternate reality.


Art House location & Hours

Wednesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm
231 Delgado St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501