Archive for the ‘Video Art’ Category

“Universal Pictures” Roundtable at the Jewish Museum

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Still from Lucy Raven's

Still from Lucy Raven’s “Curtains” (2014)

Tonight (1/22/15) I attended the Jewish Museum’s “Universal Pictures: Considering Contemporary Video Practice” – a roundtable discussion with artists Joan Jonas, Ken Okiishi, Lucy Raven and Jennifer West.

I was 30 minutes late and unfortunately missed Joan Jonas’s presentation.

I walked in at the end of Lucy Raven’s talk as she introduced the excerpt from her film “Curtains” (50 minutes, 2014). Raven traveled around the world to capture various post-production studios where films are processed into stereoscopic 3D films. The snippet itself appeared terribly boring to have to watch, but the conceptual basis is striking. In considering the use of sound, Raven remarked how, the 3D processing flattens the film to a moving hologram, whereas sound when using surround sound is much more immersive and physical and 3 dimensional. There was little time for question and answer, however, I would have liked to have heard Raven’s thoughts regarding the temporal reality of a given digital technical labor. Today these post production studios are getting tax breaks in major cities. As the tech becomes less specialized the labor will move to cheaper markets rather than major cities, I wondered how quickly these studios would dissolve. I would have liked to have heard her reflections regarding digital labor after having visited all these post production studios throughout the globe.

To Ken Okiishi, I have one suggestion – don’t put video in a PowerPoint presentation – doing so will keep your computer from crashing. The interactive paint ball installation was cool, but trite. And the painted screens seemed to be too much of a shtick, not very interesting as objects though momentarily engaging. I did like the parallel between these art objects and our use of smart phones with traces of greasy finger marks…

Jennifer West presented fascinating material, including a satirical 18th century illustration of people’s fascination with lenses. She discussed her practice of using recycled film, drawing from the magic lantern, interests in pre-cinema practices, the beauty of 70mm film. The use of flash light projections in her installations. And she ended with images or brainstorming around her ongoing project on film memory. Which lead me to consider what do I remember of a favorite film? The pieces that stand out? And to consider the psychological power of circulation & cinema upon a mass public.

The Jewish Museum should have allotted more time for this roundtable, I’m sure other people had questions, but they pressed how they had gone beyond the given time.

Written by ricardo

January 22nd, 2015 at 8:45 pm