Fernanda D'Agostino has created numerous unique public art projects and installations in Oregon and Washington. Motion Studies investigates parallels between art and science through a collaboration with University of Portland biology professor Bret Tobalske. Tobalske's research into the physics of bird flight helped generate much of the moving imagery that D'Agostino utilizes in her new work.
Footage formulated by using Dr. Tobalske's fluid imaging system, known as a digital particle image velocimetry, examines the structure and momentum of flying birds. D'Agostino's video translation reveals a non-literal exploration of bodily flight that she describes as an "otherness" of wild creatures. She animates the gallery space by projecting the videos sequences onto wing-like sculptures, created from stainless steel and hand-painted mylar, that are suspended in the gallery. Smaller wall-mounted monitors display still image details from the video to a soundtrack of digitally manipulated bird songs. Additional layers of footage, including bird mating dances and scenes of migration, were shot in collaboration with cinematographer Harry Dawson on location in Portland.
In a second installation of blown-glass forms created with Carl Weiss of Tosoh Quartz in Beaverton, Oregon, D'Agostino explores notions of fluid dynamics which is the study of liquids and gases in motion. She simultaneously draws on European glass-blowing traditions for making scientific instruments and on samples of Renaissance studies of fluids in motion.
D'Agostino's work reveals that the same set of equations govern the physics of birds in flight, the formations of galaxies, river and ocean currents, as well as a myriad of other natural phenomena. It is this inherent connectivity among larger systems that she seeks to evoke in her concurrent installations.