Whyte Maile System, Incorporated:
A Multimedia Installation
On April 30th, 1993, the Lowe Art Museum presented the 1993 MFA Exhibition of the graduating Master of Fine Arts candidates in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Miami. Representing the Graphic Design Department, Rowena Luna presented a multimedia exhibit entitled Whyte Maile System Incorporated.
The site-specific sculpture installation incorporated photography, film, video, graphics, original music, and dance. The multimedia exhibit included a series of photomurals depicting situations encountered in the corporate world, a board room installation, as well as a music video film entitled The Corporate Jungle. Original music for the video was composed by Geoff Ogle, a graduating Masters of Music candidate in the University of Miami School of Music. The original choreography was by Le’Vern Washington, a South Florida dancer, and choreographer. The Corporate Jungle video was post-produced by Comtel, Inc. and was visually displayed on a video wall sponsored by Multivision Video and Film and Electrosonic Systems Incorporated. The entire exhibit was
cosponsored by over twenty-five individuals and corporations, e.g. Americana Display, Arango, Burdines Downtown, Florsheim Thayer McNeil, Home Depot, Zero U.S. Corporation.
Ms. Luna’s inspiration for the Whyte Maile System Incorporated installation was her personal experiences in the corporate environment from 1982 to 1990. After being awarded an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Miami in 1979 and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from MIT in 1982, she worked as a Project and Construction Engineer for Atlantic Richfield Company and then as a Marketing Specialist for General Electric. It was her intimate awareness of these corporate systems that led her to address issues surrounding participation by professional women in white male-dominated corporate cultures.
Although the initial conceptualization of Whyte Maile System Incorporated began with photographic stills, Ms. Luna broadened her medium beyond photography and into multimedia by incorporating theatre, film, video, graphics, music and dance. Her thesis exhibit represents the culmination of a two-year period of self-growth and change in her life. It became a highly personal mold of her past corporate experiences with current learning and future identity as an artist. Identity is extremely complex and therefore, in her exhibit, she needed many forms of expression to illustrate the complexities of identity. Her multimedia performance art was the obvious choice
because it was the best vehicle for expression of the dynamic elements of identity and change.
Rowena Luna’s objective for Whyte Maile System Incorporated is not to stridently proclaim the views of feminism nor to teach. Instead, she wants to provoke discussion, raise questions, and elicit personal responses. Therefore, she chose to use satire, irony and a certain degree of ambiguity to draw the viewer in. It is more important for her to allow the audience to react to the work and develop their own ideas about it than it is to represent a single overwhelming viewpoint.
16' wide x 30' long x 14' high
Photography, film, video,
graphics, original music, dance
The Annual MFA Exhibition
Lowe Art Museum
Coral Gables, FL