Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"The Light Inside"
James Turrell is a Quaker artist who uses light in his works. He is not a video artist, but I thought his works (coming from a religious perspective) would be relevant to our discussion. I found his works through Art 21, in the special on Spirituality. Again, Christian artists are hard to come by, but it's worth checking out to see the artists of other religions, and their approach to incorporating their faith (or lack of it) into their art.
Do you ever get that surging feeling of "life" when you get doused with cold water? We do it all the time to "wake" somebody up...bring them back to life, so to speak. This clip captures that moment, which I feel is definitely fitting for our theme of vital. Water is a source of life, and this can even be seen in the Christian sense when we think of baptismal water.
Although this post falls more in the music video category, it has a new-media feel to it, and the song in general is about a girl who "fights for her life" as she lives amongst the hustle-bustle of our world today. It fits our vital theme in a very light-hearted way, see for yourself!
This is a video made by a Chilean artist about a "fallen angel." What do you think? Its interesting how many artists use water as a sign or stand in for life/ death. You can drown in water, and the images portrayed in this clip are both mesmerizing and haunting. As we have seen, Bill Viola uses water (Gallons of it!) for his video art, which powerfully draws our emotions in a liquefying way.
I posted this video earlier on in the semester, when we explored "body" art. When I thought of what I could show for Christian/Vital art, this is the first piece that came to mind.
For additional videos, click on the link below:
Black and white forms and an eerie roaring sound begin this video, and then an extreme close-up of a man covered in a chalky-white substance emerges on the screen. This is Jym Davis, the artist of this piece titled White Space, which was created in 2004. This particular video is about the creation of man, and the dusty-white chalk is representative of the dust God used to create man as prescribed in Genesis, the very first chapter in the Bible. Though traditional themes are used in this film, they are presented in a manner that reflects our current technologically advanced society. In his artist statement, Davis writes, “My art reflects my interest in the way we deal with mystery in a scientific era, exploring how the fantastic fits into contemporary culture. My influences come from a variety of story-sources: Norse mythology, The Old Testament, and tales of folkloric revenants from Eastern Europe. I’m exploring the ways these archetypes interact with a new generation.”
Davis has received his Masters of Fine Art degree from the University of North Carolina in 2003. A rapidly emerging video artist, Davis has already made over nineteen videos, each revealing his interest in science, music, the human body, skin application, water, fire, and light. He masterfully combines these elements in a way that questions our understanding of life, death, and human existence in general. Where exactly do we come from? How did we get here? The ghost-like white face emerging from the pool of milky water and the fragmented sounds of machines in the background might suggest the fractured knowledge we posses as humans from a myriad of sources. Indeed, White Space uses scriptural text and other mythological accounts of creation such as those found in Ancient Near Eastern stories of creation from water.
In essence, Davis explores the human vitality linked between old and new traditions. In Independent Exposure Davis states, “My work blurs the boundary between traditional studio practice and emerging digital technologies while exploring such far reaching issues as science fiction, spirituality, and the human body.” As evident of his other films, many of the actors Davis casts in his works are covered paint. For instance, in another video called Peel a man and woman are shown covered in dry silver paint which they slowly peel off each other in an “intimate ritualistic” fashion. David’s work is also said to be “…influential of David Lynch as well as the repetitious music of minimalist composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich can also be seen.”
Davis exhibits his works throughout the east and west coast, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, and Lithuania. As depicted in the end of White Space, a release of what appears to be red blood spreads across the screen and the pounding sound of a heart-beat becomes prominent. The pulse instantly stops, and celestial sounds are introduced. Did “Adam” just die and go to heaven? We are left to ponder the feelings evoked from this paradoxically apocalyptic rendition of human emergence. Perhaps it is actively prompting us to probe more deeply the gap between our own religious beliefs and natural human evolution. This is a grave and mysterious void we as Christians cannot dodge in today’s heavily scientific-based society.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Boaz Arad, Yossi Atia & Itamar Rose, Keren Cytter, Uri Katzenstein, Dana Levy, Shahar Marcus, Roee Menahem Markovich, Avi Mograbi, Miri Segal, Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir, Doron Solomons, Malki Tesler, Lior Waterman & Amit Levinger, Karen Russo and Amir Yatziv.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"Dirty Pictures" is one component of the 7-part series "Hotel Diaries". From the artist's website: "In these works, which play upon chance and coincidence, the hotel room is employed as a 'found' film set, where the architecture, furnishing and decoration become the means by which the filmmaker’s small adventures are linked to major world events".
This particular video was filmed in Palestine.
Manuel Saiz is a Spanish artist working in London. The two videos above are part of his "Parallel Paradises" collection, each featuring a contrast between the intricacies of certain cultures -- in this case, Japan and Ecuador.
Indian born, painter turned video artist Ranbir Kaleb creates videos combining painted projections and footage on film. His works reflect cultural and religious issues and the idea of a constant yet changing India. In this video Kaleb includes, for example, the controversial aspect of wearing a turban. His work also portrays human struggles and what it means to be human, i.e., "Threading a Needle" (1998-99). For more information, visit the artist's website at www.rkaleka.com and read "Being Human: Ranbir Kaleka’s Latest Works Create Meaning through Painting, Video Projection, Successes and Failures" by Saskia Miller.
I know these videos are long, but they are a great way to learn about this AMAZING light project done in the city of Zócalo, Mexico. Those lights were controlled by the public via internet!
Video artist of Mexican origin, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer created Vectorial Elevation in 1999. This dynamic light beam project was stationed in the large city of Zócalo in Mexico, and the public was given the opportunity to participate in a very grand way. In essence, they were the creators of the patterns that were projected in the night sky for spectators to experience and enjoy. This was made possible via internet, a Global Positioning System device, and massive robotic lights that were placed on the roof tops of tall buildings encircling the city square.
Though highly technological, the system of generating your own light path was simple. All you had to do was log onto a Web site and create a design by clicking a computer mouse and dragging a cursor over the screen. When your entry was presented in the city, you would receive an e-mail and link showing pictures and virtual images of your work. You were also invited to write anything you wanted on this link to share with others. These posts were uncensored, and included everything from dedications to lengthy political statements.
The presentation lasted two weeks, and during this time over 800,000 people visited the interactive Web site from countries around the world. As stated by the authors of Video Art, Lozano-Hemmer conveyed that Vectorial Elevation, “…serves primarily as a platform for public self-expression.” He also mentioned that his work is reflective of the late Thomas Wilfred, who during the 1920s developed works using the premise of light and a keyboard system to create, for instance, Clavilux, a site installation where light was projected on skyscrapers in the city of New York.
It is suggested that Vectorial Elevation is reminiscent of Tribute in Light created in 2002 by Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda to commemorate the lost victims of the destroyed Twin Towers of the 9/11 terrorist attack. As demonstrated in this video and other similar works, light is used in a profound aesthetic and conceptual manner to speak volumes. Although Vectorial Elevation was initially launched in Mexico, it was reenacted in France, Ireland, and Spain. Regardless of where it is preformed, it draws masses of people and remains a powerful form of media art that not only joins people physically but perhaps more importantly, technologically.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Links to Zhang Ga's new media art done in November, 2004. People's Portrait
Monday, March 21, 2011
As the Aspect video describes, Belkina is a female video artist from Russia. Having had much education herself, her career has led her into teaching the arts at Duke University and Emerson College; therefore, establishing herself in the hierarchies of the educational art world. She began as a painter and then recently has moved into the realms of new media creating digital shorts and animations that have been presented at numerous festivals, museums and international festivals. In this animation, Insurgency of Ambition (2009), Belkina draws inspiration from the allegory in the Greek mythology of Athena being born from Zeus' head—wisdom and war at "war" with each other. The quest for the "triumphal arch" in man is literally described in the journey in the animation. The man is naked, searching for wisdom and power, when that reality is taken away by the truth of what power does to man. This animation was created shortly after the succession in Iraq during the Middle East war. I found this animation interesting in that Belkina draws on the mythology of the past in order to speak truth about what is happening in our world today.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
BBC News - Interactive art on display at the Kinetica Art Fair
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
In both of these videos by Art 21, we hear from Columbian and Spanish artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle talk about his experiences as being an immigrant to the United States. In Random Sky (2006), Manglano-Ovalle collaborates with two other artists (Mark Hereld and Rick Grebenas) in order to capture time in the form of capturing weather patterns and visualizing the patterns in different shades of blue bars on the side of the art center (Hyde Park where this installation was featured). As the viewers pass by and become literal shadows and outlines on the wall amongst the pattern, a correlation between projecting the time of the weather and the time of the interaction with the art poses an interesting concept in how we view time. The nature of our world today has become technologized so much so that we can literally visualize the patterns of nature.
Also, in his other sculptures he created a metal sculpture that was an image taken from a weather image pattern machine that tracts thunderstorms and he caught the image of the cloud right before the storm hit. Although there is nothing necessarily new media in the final art project, the method behind the art piece was used with technology. Nature's patterns and creations can be literally captured through the invention of technology, and therefore opens up a creative avenue to explore this new perspective on nature within the realms of our technological world.
“Weather writes, erases, and rewrites itself upon the sky with the fluidity of language; it is with language that we have sought throughout history to apprehend it.”
—Richard Hamblyn, The Invention of Clouds, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001
Tim Hawkinson is an American artist known mainly for his amazing sculptures. His work revolves around the creation of different machine-like installations from everyday, simple tools and materials. For this installation, Hawkinson uses motion detectors trigger the dripping of rain water to come through the spider like web hanging from the ceiling into steel buckets. In order to create this machine-like sound maker, he used plastic sheets by twisting them with a drill to obtain biomorphic twists and turns. The rain water is what drives the piece and therefore points to Hawkinson's interest in looking at sound in nature as his other well-known installations use natural sound through a machine. In Drip gives a rhythmic beat to the sounds of nature at the timing of nature, as we cannot tell when it will rain or not. Hawkinson controls the "natural" world in an interesting and inventive way.
Another Olivier piece at a gallery, so that you can see how his works are normally viewed
quoted from R & Sie website:
R&Sie(n) is an architectural office sey up in 1989 and lead by François Roche (1961, France), Stéphanie Lavaux (1966, France) and Jean Navarro (1971, France) is based in Paris. The organic, oppositional architectural projects of their practice is concerned with the bond between building, context and human relations. Roche explains his concept of ‘’spoiled climate’’ chameleon architecture, which links and hybrids the human body to the body of architecture by a re-scenarization on the rules of all the natures of each situations. They use speculations and fictions as process to dis-alienate the post-capitalism subjectivities, in the pursuit of Toni Negri. R&Sie(n) consider architectural identity as an unstable concept, defined through temporary forms in which the vegetal and biological become a dynamic element. R&Sie(n) are currently undertaking a critical experiment with new warping technologies to prompt architectural “scenarios” of cartographic distortion, substitution, and genetic territorial mutations.
Ruri is an Icelandic artist whose themes often touch on sublime phenomonon like the waterfall. I saw here sculpture in a museum in Iceland; she constructed a cabinet with glass photographs of Icelandic waterfalls. Viisitors could pull out a large format glass photograph, which triggered an audio-recording of the sound of that waterfall. In this work above she has music and video come together in a hauntingly beautiful performance.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
A child’s fantasy comes to life in Hiraki Sawa’s Going Places Sitting Down created in 2004. With former studies in sculpture and a keen use of media, Sawa literally builds rural landscapes in the most unusual of places—the living room, bedroom, and yes...even the bathroom! The scenes he recreates in these domestic spaces are filled with the natural things you would see in the country side—horses, trees, and snow covered hills. Bringing these elements together in a whimsical fashion, Sawa invokes his viewers with the feeling that they are witnessing a lovely dream. Sawa’s mixed media fantasies are sure to delight the senses of all ages.
Sawa was born in Japan in 1977. At the age of 18 he decided to move to England where he studied fine art and began to work on installation and video art projects. It is said that his works reflect his transition from his home country to the United States. This film was created in his apartment in London, where he currently resides and works as a young and rising artist. In his works, Sawa seems to turn the rather two-dimensional video plane into a full-blown three-dimensional illusion. Of his work Sawa has stated, “Since I think of working in video in sculptural terms, I make the video image as I would a tangible object.” When I watch this video, I feel like I am a part of Sawa’s recreated worlds, and this is most likely due to his masterful ability to bring forms to life.
Sawa’s has held solo exhibitions internationally, ranging from locations such as Tokyo to Washington and New York. His most recent exhibition, Experimental Playground, was presented at the International Biennal of Media Arts in Melbourne, Australia. In this work, Sawa has filled his scenery with small toy planes (models of war aircraft) that hover slowly over interior landscapes of a laundry room and an office desktop. Of Going Places Sitting Down, one source notes, “His dreams of fantastic domestic situations, produced in his charming Londinense apartment resemble lucid dreams narrated in a codified language, based in a pictographic alphabet often repeated in his works.”
In another piece titled Birds, Saw captures the spirit of flight and rural nature with a flock of birds that fly over a pine-tree forest. The dramatic play between the light and dark, the birds filmed in slow motion, and the soft music in the background call upon the serenity of the natural world. Indeed, Sawa draws his audiences’ attention to the rural beauty that is frequently overlooked or taken for granted. As seen in Going Places Sitting Down, Sawa invites the viewer to take a second look at the voyeurism of life, of course, through the eyes of a young and venturous child who never seizes to explore his urban and rural environment.
Two other artists that utilize rural themes in their works:
Mark Lewis, "Algonquin Park" 2002
In this video, Lewis explores the deep tranquility and beauty of Algonquin Park in Canada. This piece reminds me of Bill Viola's work, in which the viewer must wait patiently for the scene to unfold. At first there is a blank white screen, then finally peaks of pine trees emerge from the bottom of the screen. As the camera pans out, the trees grow taller, and we get a keen sense of the grandeur of this snow-covered park.
Yang Fudong "Half Hitching Post" 2005
Fudong places his subjects (Asian natives dressed in modern clothing) in rural landscapes to demonstrate the gap between tradition and modernism. Half Hitching Post, depicts the symbolic travels of a young Asian couple through an unknown territory...a woman rides a donkey with her spouse along the side. What lies ahead? The desolate landscape suggests the isolation felt between the younger generation as they straddle new culture and tradition.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
One of the first video artists, Andy Warhol cleverly used split-screens in this piece to create the illusion that actress Edie Sedgwick is speaking to multiple images of herself. One source states, "As its title suggests, Outer and Inner Space visualizes a fragmented attention, a schizoid disjunction between public and private selves." As humans, we constantly evaluate our persona, and this video demonstrates the "two-sided" nature of this process.
Hannah Wilke, "Gestures" 1974
I found Gestures by Wilke in our New Media Art book with stills of the artist distorting her face with her hands. As the text explains, "She attempts to erase her face in protest to commercialization and abuse of the female body in the media." Like Doll Face by Andy Huang, Gestures shows the direct effect of media on persona.
Created in 2008 and presented at the Zach Feurer Gallery, New York video artist Tamy Ben-Tor tackles issues pertaining to social customs and gender roles in her video titled Gewald. As evident of her work, Ben-Tor uses child-like story scenarios and songs to awaken social perceptions through her witty portrayals of everyday-life. At first impression, her work seems silly and even irrelevant, but as the video progresses, one may begin to understand the serious subject she addresses and the message conveyed.
At first in Gewald, Ben-Tor dressed in brightly colored folk attire sings how we must be aware of the household “man covered in mud who knows no piece” and the “woman with a cold womb like a frog.” As the video progresses, she advises children to “carve into their hearts” and “turn their eyes away” from the behavioral roles portrayed by these individuals she sings about.
Ben-Tor was born in Jerusalem in 1975. She casts herself as the main character in her performance art and utilizes both photography and film in her work. One source comments how her art is reflective of artist Cindy Sherman. It is also said that she comments on Jewish and Israelite relations in her performance art. As apparent of this video, Ben-tor uses only simple props and low-tech filming to say what she feels and experience in life in a simple yet direct manner that makes her a unique and prominent performance artist.
Richard Serra, "Surprise Attack" 1973
Richard Serra is the artist who constructs those huge architectural walls made of metal. People walk between these curved slabs and experience space in a totally different way. I was surprised to find that this is him in this earlier video performance he created in the 70s. As I understand, performance art really took off in the 70s and became a popular avenue that artists explored.
Dan Dunn is a performance painter who uses his whole body to paint his large and expressive works. I definitely read this work as a unique form of performance art and well worth sharing!
Marnie Weber: The Cinema Show (Edited clips) from Marc Jancou Contemporary on Vimeo.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Check out the video here.
The F.A.T/Lab collective is an experiment in performance art that combines visuals, music, and a choreographed dining experience. Spearheaded by UCSB professor and recent graduate student, Alejandro Casazi, this work encompasses several mediums of art. The acronym stands for Food, Art, and Technology, a fitting name for this groundbreaking work of art that combines food scientist, Joel Chapman’s innovative work set to the soundtrack provided by Christopher Jette and enhanced by gorgeous and evocative digital images of prints done by Casazi.
The first experiment with this performance was held at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum on August 7th, 2010 for the public and a private reception followed on September 24th. There was an expensive ticket for the attendees of the private dinner, which were mostly donors and beneficiaries of the institution, as well as friends and supporters of the artists. A few lucky interns were chosen to act as severs for the esoteric, yet completely accessible, dining experience.
The entire meal had been choreographed before the diners had arrived. Each movement of the servers had been calculated and accounted for by the artists who controlled the event. Chapman controlled the taste aspect of the piece, while Jette told each server to match the start of the undulating, droning music and Casazi started a set of visual stimuli that went hand in hand with the course that would be enjoyed by the guests.
The courses were staged in a series of several different courses. Each element of food was plated with exact specifications by the Chef and presented in a synchronized fashion by the servers. The overwhelming visuals of the space enveloped the diners as they were instructed by Chapman to let the tastes of the food rest in their mouths. Casazi and Jette worked together to create an overwhelming visual-sensual experience that in combination with the food provided a new experience of the common, shared practice of eating. The artists attempted to deconstruct the norm of a shared meal by plating the food in different ways, providing guests with food like purple potato paper and shots of caviar and dill. All the while, Casazi and Jette worked harmoniously to transform the dining room into a work of art. A large projection of digital images set the backdrop for the scene and the music was reminiscent of John Cage minimalism.
The artists sought to form a new context for dining with friends by overwhelming their guests with aesthetics and succulent food. The work puts the viewers in control—their experience defines the success of the work itself. If they were overwhelmed and excited by the food, visuals and music then the artists did their job right.
Casazi is originally from Bogota, Columbia and was just recently married last summer. He works as a lecturer at UCSB and graduated from their MFA program in 2009. He is a multi-disciplinary artist with works spanning from video, installation, collaborative, sculpture to printmaking, sounds, and photography. He often deals with themes relating to humanity—trying to understand the relationship of the whole to its parts. Chapman works as an executive chef and food scientist and graduated at the top of his class from Le Cordon Bleu. Jette is a renowned composer and collaborator with visual artists. His work seeks to transcend the temporal experiences of humanity to that of the ephemeral.