Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Art Basel – Technological Art (Video)

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

I had fully intended on writing each day’s impressions during this trip. That is plain and simply impossible as there is just too much to digest. Going through the hundreds and hundreds of photos I have been taking, I am devising a new plan where I will continue writing about everything I’ve seen over the next few weeks. In attending six different exhibit spaces yesterday afternoon (Pulse, Aqua Wynwood, Art Miami, Gesai, and Zones) and all that Design Miami had to offer last evening, I can better represent the various impressions thematically. In going through the pictures, that which has struck me the most is that Video may very well have Killed the Radio Star and technological art is becoming increasingly apparent.


Several large exhibits at Art Basel struck me including Sam Taylor-Wood’s That White Rush, a DVD production shown on a large, flat screen television. Running for just over two minutes, it depicts a Leda And The Swan-like image; a woman seemingly copulating with a bird. At first glance (as readily shown by those who just walked by), one seems to be viewing a mere photograph or finely-executed painting. The movements of the woman’s feet are miniscule and barely discernible. It is at first appalling – is she really having sex with the bird? Then it becomes erotic and sensual…

Another piece was a chamber presented by Francesca Kaufmann, Milano (although based on the signage, I am unsure if this was the actual artist or the gallery representative). Within the chamber are two vintage videos of The Carpenters in short, looped segments. Combating each other, one is a loop of Karen singing "Me, Me, Me" while the opposite video has strains of her classic voice crooning "You, You, You." 


I was thrilled to catch a photo of a man in yellow experiencing the two auditory experiences simultaneously. I was oddly drawn to this display and returned several times during the exhibit. A similarly-arranged exhibit was also made with a blue chamber and two Annie Lennox videos, but as her words were indistinguishable by me, the Carpenter’s dichotomy of the Me/You became more poignant.


Within Design Miami, video is incorporated in the selling of Max Lamb’s cast bronze chairs. Heavy and solid bronze, a background video which runs at an accelerated speed and shows the artist deconstructing the chair from a giant block of styrofoam.

On a twist from the produced videos being displayed, artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy took the innovation a step further with a full installation piece. In High Seas, 2007, this mixed media sculpture of the Titanic is mounted with a motor and camera which runs around a track, producing a live video output of what appears to be the rocking motion of sea travel. The sensation of sea-sickness was palpable!



It is also gratifying that much of the video art being produced is not limited to the high-end , expensive productions. In a smaller gallery off one of the side-roads, I stumbled on this charming series of sculptures by Troy Abbott showing bird cages in which sits small video screens depicting what would otherwise be a live, caged bird. Don’t want the hassle of having to clean a bird cage or listen to loud chirping in the middle of the night? No noise and no mess with this caged bird!