Marfa Dialogues

Texas Biennial with Alyce Santoro

Alyce Santoro

25 April 2011-01 May 2011

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change things, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Schedule of Events at the Masonic Lodge, Marfa, Texas:

Friday, 29 April, 6-9 pm
Sound Installation by Alyce Santoro & Julian Mock

Saturday, 30 April, 11 am – 1 pm
Artist’s Talk & Video Screening

Saturday, 30 April, 6 pm
Quantum Tortilla Demo with Ruby & Enrique Madrid

Sunday, 1 May, 11 am
Sailing for Desert Dwellers

After the opening weekend, the Synergetic Omni-Solution will be open by appointment only on Thursdays and Fridays until June 10. Please call 432-729-3600 to schedule a viewing.

Ballroom Marfa is pleased to participate in this year’s Texas Biennial by showcasing the work of artist Alyce Santoro. With a background in both marine biology and scientific illustration, Alyce Santoro has been exploring the intersection of art and science for over twenty years. Widely known as the inventor of Sonic Fabric — an audible textile composed of recorded audiotape — Santoro’s interdisciplinary projects weave together philosophy and physics with ecology and social activism in quirky and provocative ways.

Santoro came to Far West Texas from Brooklyn, NY in 2006 to develop holistic modes of investigation and to experiment with socially and ecologically sustainable means to work and live. A 1970s school bus converted into a solar powered studio, a greenhouse, rainwater harvesting systems, and the extensive use of recycled and found materials as building and art supplies have been integral parts of her research.

Drawing on the Grand Unification Theory in quantum physics, techniques used in biodynamic agriculture and permaculture, Joseph Beuys’ concept of “Social Sculpture,” the WWII maxim “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without,” and Buckminster Fuller’s idea that “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete,” Santoro proposes a hybrid approach to current social and environmental challenges that invites participation and collaboration from her audiences. “The Synergetic Omni-Solution” consists of lectures, demonstrations, performances, multimedia installations, booklets, and posters, all of which will be launched in Marfa during the Texas Biennial.

Additionally, Santoro will visit the Marfa Jr./Sr. High School as part of our Making Art Work series, where she will discuss different systems people from all kinds of disciplines and cultures have developed to tap into personal forms of creativity, the intersection of art and science, and why the overlap is important.

Santoro holds a BS in Marine Biology from Southampton College in Southhampton, New York, and a Graduate Certificate in Scientific Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Her work is exhibited internationally in venues ranging from the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona, Spain, and the Gwangju Design Biennale.

See a calendar of all the Texas Biennial events here. A full list of participating organizations and further information on the 2011 Texas Biennial exhibitions from 9 April to 14 May 2011 is available at

Texas Biennial Logo

    Don’t miss Marfa Public Radio’s Talk at Ten interview with Alyce Santoro, where she discusses her project, The Synergetic Omni-Solution.

    Texas/Mexico border historian/scholar Enrique Madrid and his wife Ruby offer a lesson on how to prepare traditional Mexican recipes, including Enrique’s theory that perfectly round tortillas that obey the very same laws of physics as the universe milliseconds after the Big Bang. Enrique and Ruby feel strongly that teaching people how to cook simple, wholesome food helps to preserve traditions and keeps “endangered flavors” alive. Sustenance — both physical and philosophical — provides individuals and families with the means to thrive, and creates bonds within communities and between cultures. We are pleased to announce that Enrique and Ruby Madrid will join us on Saturday, April 30, for the Texas Biennial weekend!

    [vimeo 23382074]

    As part of our Texas Biennial weekend, Alyce demonstrated her flame tube, which translates sound waves into flame waves on 30 April 2011. Here’s just a snippet of the beautiful and mesmerizing presentation.

    The Synergetic Omni-Solution and its educational programs have been made possible through the generous support of Jeff & Toni Beauchamp and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Special thanks to Alamo Beer Company, San Antonio, TX; Mike Bianco; Rob Crowley; Jeff Fort; Alberto Halpern; Kathleen O’Keefe; Ruby & Enrique Madrid; Marfa Burrito, Marfa, TX; Marfa Independent School District; Lorna Leedy & Peter Maggio; Julian Mock; and Susan Penney.