close

Faculty and Staff Email Login:

If your email account has not been moved to Google by I.T., then login here using Outlook Web Access:
webmail.cornish.edu/

If your email account has moved to Google by the I.T. Department, then login here:
mail.google.com


EXPO Profile: Miles Toland

EXPO Profile: Miles Toland

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: Miles Toland

: EXPO 13: Courtesy of Cornish College of the Arts.

EXPO Profile: Miles Toland

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: Miles Toland

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: Miles Toland

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

Prev · Next

Inspired by the Hindu deity Shiva, Miles Toland wants to put you inside his work, to lull you with low-frequency sound waves and frame you in light.

Anyone who finds Miles Toland’s installation at EXPO 13 is in for an in-depth experience. It’s not enough for Toland (AR ’13) to exhibit three beautifully crafted paintings, he is creating for his viewers an experience that also incorporates sound and light, suggesting the art work is not confined to a canvas, but moves freely in space and in time. He is creating the opportunity for everyone who visits to enter a meditative state.

Miles has built several wooden platforms designed as furniture from which to view the paintings. As a viewer sits down to take a canvas in, he or she will become entwined with the work. “Each is going to have an accompanying video that will be projected from pedestals I’m currently creating,” says Toland. “The whole space will be dim and the videos will be projected on top. It creates this interesting conversation between the static paintings and the assembled video.”

Then there is the audio. When someone reaches the final work, a mandala, the final immersive element will become apparent. “There will be low frequencies that are actually rattling inside the pedestal and headphones you can plug in for the higher frequency sounds,” says Toland. “And you’re in somewhat of a meditative, contemplative sitting pose in front of the mandala. … it actually communicates the lower frequencies of sound into the core of the viewer, creating more of this synesthetic experience.”

“And then the projector will be behind you casting your shadow,” finishes Toland, “so you’re physically in the piece. You see yourself in the piece.”

Toland has painted these works as mandalas. Intended for contemplation, mandalas are — in the early stages of practice — intricate circular patterns intended to aid the initiate with putting aside thought and giving over to the serenity of meditation. The geometry and repetition focuses the mind ‘til it loses awareness of itself and drifts away to a total awareness of “the moment.” “There are definitely geometric motifs through all this and some plays on fractals. With the pinecones, particularly, with the Fibonacci sequence embedded in the design of it.”

The pinecone figures heavily in Toland’s iconography. “The pinecone is a symbol that I’ve fallen in love with and become a bit infatuated with,” says Toland. “It represents the pineal gland, also known as the third eye. It’s this teeny little gland that’s shaped like a pinecone about the size of a grain of rice in the center of our heads. It secretes DMT, dimethyltriptamine, which is the chemical that’s released in mass quantities when we’re born or we have near-death experiences or when we die.”

Toland was introduced to Eastern philosophy in high school through a mentorship program. At the Monte del Sol charter school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, his mentor got him into “meditation and mindfulness and redirecting energy for better awareness.”

Miles credits inspiration both sacred and profane. “I was definitely inspired by Shiva and also by authors like William Kentridge showing progressions, such as the unfolding of time.”

EXPO 13: BFA Exhibition, May 10 – May 25, 2013, 5:00 pm on Cornish campus, Visual Arts Center.

EXPO 13 builds upon the annual BFA Exhibition, highlighting the depth and range of our students’ creative inquiry and expression at Cornish College of the Arts. The Art and Design shows serve as the keystone to an expanded schedule of events, including dialogue, performances, and artistic interventions. EXPO 13 celebrates the achievements of Cornish’s graduating seniors by acknowledging their contributions as professional artists and designers. Cornish is proud of their determination, hard word, and appetite for experimentation, as they turn their ambitions from school towards society. Congratulations to the class of 2013.


Recently

View Archive