The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Making Innovation: Artists, Engineers, and the Sarnoff Collection

Image: Clarence Holbrook Carter, David Sarnoff Research Center, 1967. Oil on canvas. The David Sarnoff Collection/TCNJ


NOTE: The TCNJ Art Gallery will be closed for Spring Break from March 11-18. The Gallery will reopen on Tuesday, March 20. 

Join us at the TCNJ Art Gallery on the first floor of the AIMM Building and the Sarnoff Collection on the second floor of Roscoe West Hall on February 7 through April 1, 2018 for a collaborative experience.

Opening Day Panel Discussion with Imin Yeh and Florencia Pierri: Wednesday, February 7, 4:00-5:00pm in AIMM 125
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 7, 5:00-7:00pm 
Artist’s Talk with Sandra Erbacher: Wednesday, February 21, 4:00-5:00pm in AIMM 125

TCNJ is home to the David Sarnoff Collection, a small but significant museum of artifacts that document the history of communication and electronics in the 20th century.  Making Innovation: Artists, Engineers, and the Sarnoff Collection will bring together intriguing objects from the Sarnoff Collection — from vacuum tubes to computer chips to  paintings on circuit boards — and the work of contemporary artists. Through the Collection and the history it documents, this exhibition will explore both corporate culture and the culture of invention and innovation that resulted in technologies that transformed the world and continue to impact contemporary life.

The exhibition will include artifacts from the Sarnoff Collection. Artists represented in the exhibition will include: Clarence Holbrook Carter, Philip J. Cianci, S. Hammer, Pietro Montana,  and Larry U. Dworkin, best known as one of the pioneers of television, and will feature newly commissioned work from artist-in-residence with the Sarnoff Collection Imin Yeh, New Jersey artist Sandra Erbacher, and the late Pati Hill.

Through her painstakingly crafted, obsessively detailed paper reproductions of collection artifacts, Imin Yeh defeats the utility of the objects, and draws attention to the human labor behind them. Yeh’s work is primarily concerned with disclosing the invisible labor and production that goes into everyday consumable items we often overlook and quickly discard. Yeh is in interdisciplinary and project-based artist, working in sculpture, installation, interactive events, and print, where her process involves repetitive handcraft labor to mimic real-life conditions. 

Artist Sandra Erbacher uses objects and materials typically associated with institutional spaces and offices to mount a sly, often humorous critique of corporate bureaucracy. Erbacher transforms familiar aspects of office life — the floor plans, texts, and objects designed to organize human activity and maximize efficiency — in ways that threaten to disrupt the institutional order.

Pati Hill experimented with the photocopier as an artistic medium throughout the 60s and 70s, turning to this machine as a means of preservation and abstraction. To Hill, the office copier was a direct, instantaneous, and affordable tool that both accurately reproduced and transformed the subjects placed on the glass. Hill’s copier images are machine-vision versions of common objects, duplicated in detail and at life-scale, but with a palette and depth of field constrained by the nature of the technology.

Press Release: PR-MakingInnovation Spring 2018

ImageClarence Holbrook Carter, David Sarnoff Research Center, 1967. Oil on canvas. The David Sarnoff Collection/TCNJ

Below is a sampling of the work displayed. Photo credit: Rakieer Jennings and Angelo Vinco.