اViewing through April 27 at the Community Arts Phoenixville gallery are the multidisciplinary sculptures and mixed media works of artist Charles Emlen in an exhibition titled “Primitive Methodologies of Inscrutable Design.” Much of his work resembles, or suggests, futuristic assemblages constructed of welded and painted metal, found objects, computerized prints and digital animation.Emlen, aside from his love of art, is an avid science and technology enthusiast, having also worked with with technology in other settings. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from Arizona State University and lives near Philadelphia. He shows frequently in Berks County, with his artwork displayed in group exhibitions at Studio B and the Goggle Works Center for the Arts. Appearing strangely functional, his welded steel works maintain an omni-directional set of curved plates, somewhat similar to satellite dishes that either receive or send coded messages to and from an unspecified source. A freestanding floor piece titled “The Pickering Conspiracy” has possibly a dozen plates aimed in all directions; much the same as “Proto-Psychometer,” which aims its plating in a north/south/east/west arrangement, implying some type of mental or psychological connection. A few of the pieces are configured in this manner.Appearing strangely functional, his welded steel works maintain an omni-directional set of curved plates, somewhat similar to satellite dishes that either receive or send coded messages to and from an unspecified source. A freestanding floor piece, The Pickering Conspiracy, has possibly a dozen plates aimed in all directions; much the same as Proto-Psychometer, which aims its plating in a north/south/east/west arrangement, implying some type of mental or psychological connectionFrom his statement: “I’m fascinated by systems and technology, the way things work, evolution, massively large numbers, complex algorithms, the human brain, entropy, eternity, language, sex, disease, animals, economics and the functional aspects of just about every part of this great big wonderful thing we call reality.” One of the pieces, “Deep Fake,” is a sculpture composed of an acetylene tank, some bracing and a looping flatscreen video of computerized imagery that morphs repeatedly into itself. For this piece, Emlen had written the software that created the imagery, much the same as two horizontal pieces hanging in the back and center room. “It’s true,” he continued, “most of my work does lead toward the technological, but that’s just the way I choose to communicate. While at my core I acknowledge I may be a spiritual animal, what and how I think is largely based in science. It’s a weakness. I can’t help but see the physical world as an endless field of size, scale, complexity and granularity. The universe is at once infinitely large and infinitely small. From the farthest reaches of the cosmos to the most diminutively infinitesimal corner of subatomic, a diverse complexity reigns.”Interdisciplinary art is not a term used much in this corner of rural Pennsylvania, since it involves two or more artistic methods working in tandem on the same project with a single artist doing everything. Emlen’s work incorporates metal sculpture, video, digital printing and in one case a rolling text in a stream of consciousness that also continues in the loop. A very smart, interesting and multifaceted exhibition.