Popular culture has been molded by television and electronic graphic information since the mid-20th century. Whether appearing on a TV console, computer monitor, or smart device, video has become a comfortable, accessible, and preferred medium for both consumption and creation, especially to those among us under 30. Many critics today consider it to be this generation’s quintessential format for expression. Camera Lucida features eight contemporary artists from around the world who work with video and digital moving imagery. Artists Jay Bolotin, Rob Carter, Joe Hamilton, Yeon Jin Kim, LigoranoReese, Jillian Mayer, Rosa Menkman, and Rick Silva offer fresh perspectives on enduring concerns and new issues, using a technology that is widely familiar through common exposure, if not as broadly known as an independent art form. Yet video has been used as an eloquent and powerful vehicle by artists for more than 50 years, ranging from early documentary formats and narrative expositions to digital abstraction and game-playing interaction. JCSM’s survey provides a compelling look at the state of the medium today, where age-old intentions find new purpose in new applications.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Joe Hamilton

Most of the artists in Camera Lucida utilize editing and animation technologies that would have astonished earlier creators, thus highlighting how far the field has advanced in half a century. Visual effects seen today in the works of Joe Hamilton, Rosa Menkman, and Joe Silva quite simply could not have been created in an earlier time. Hamilton’s videos integrate rolling overlays of natural landscape views with fields of color, abstract forms, and collaged elements. This thoroughly contemporary, digital take on Cubism elicits an expanded field of awareness that incorporates multiple perspectives and perceptions, much as Braque and Picasso’s paintings achieve. His videos mimic our roaming focus and engagement in the environment and allude to our inner reflections on those sights and activities.

This video contains an excerpt from Trouble in Utopia, 2013.

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