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.


LigoranoReese is the collaborative name of artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, whose work, Dawn of the Anthropocene, is featured in Camera Lucida. LigoranoReese’s video documents the limited life span of their massive work of ice sculpture installed outdoors in a downtown Manhattan pedestrian plaza. Moreover, it functions independently as a compelling work of art, compressing time and the transformation of matter into an accelerated viewer experience, thus amplifying the artists’ conceptual statement. The installation of the 3,000-pound sculpture of the words THE FUTURE, measuring five by twenty-three feet, took place at the intersection of Broadway and 23rd Street on the morning of Sept. 21, 2014, to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit and the People’s Climate March. The artists photographed and filmed the sculpture’s steady disappearance, posting it in real-time on the Internet.

This video contains an excerpt from Dawn of the Anthropocene, 2015.

Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco

“Dawn of the Anthropocene” is titled after the proposed name for the geological epoch in which we live. The term Anthropocene, popularized by the Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen and other scientists, describes the period in which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment, overtaking that of the Earth’s natural forces. LigoranoReese’s work at large addresses the impact of technology on society, while utilizing high technology itself in novel applications. Recent projects by them include screening micro-projections of Hollywood war movies on the head of a pin and fiber optic data tapestries that alter appearance in response to biometric feedback.

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