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Camera Lucida

Camera Lucida: Rick Silva

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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.

Like Menkman, Rick Silva creates videos and other moving digital art using imaging software. Often, these are designed for a hosted existence on the web, where users may freely access them on personal devices. Some of his past works adopt the commonplace form of the animated GIF, those ubiquitous, looping graphic emblems that enliven websites and HTML emails, often to the irritation of the end user. In Silva’s handling, the result is much more sublime. His projects frequently examine aspects of the landscape and wilderness in the present day. The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future, installed in Camera Lucida on a grid of six wall-mounted monitors, displays looped animations of abstracted avian forms sequenced in eerily naturalistic dynamics of flight. Reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbook studies of nature in motion, they also hint at a dystopian future in which those living forms have been supplanted by avatars.

This video contains an excerpt of the artist’s work.

Camera Lucida: Jay Bolotin

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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.

Jay Bolotin turns to age-old forms of imaging technology in the creation of his richly layered, digital productions. Bolotin is a sculptor, printmaker, stage performer, and musician, in addition to being a maker of animated “motion pictures.” In all cases he remains at heart a storyteller. Bolotin Woodcut prints formed the basis for his epic “The Jackleg Testament, Part One: Jack and Eve,” screened in large format in Camera Lucida. This hour-long operatic tale was realized by scanning his prints for character and background elements, and animating them via computer. Bolotin’s original musical score and libretto combine with his expressionistic visual treatment in a reinterpretation of the Book of Genesis that channels the likes of Shakespeare, Blake, and Brecht. Bolotin’s most recent project, Kharmen, digitally brings to life his elaborate graphite drawings. Inspired in part by Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen, Bolotin credits as well the stories of Russian surrealist writer Daniil Kharms as source material for the 22-minute video.

Camera Lucida: Rosa Menkman

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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.

Rosa Menkman makes art of a truly interactive nature by engaging her “audience” to become physical participants in completing the work. Xilitla is designed in a video game format. The viewer is transformed into a collaborator by way of a game controller to explore the malleable realms and conditions latent in the experience. However, this is not your normal role-playing game by any stretch of the imagination. Dead ends, unexpected or random consequences, and visual and auditory feedback artifacts, which were they to occur in a conventional game context would be considered negative glitches, are instead coded in and emphasized. Menkman’s work is centered in an aesthetic known as glitch art. Digital and analog errors—bugs in the system—are accepted and incorporated as intentional malfunctions. In Menkman’s work, the glitch disrupts one’s expectations and carries the user/viewer into a new moment or new momentum of understanding.

FILM@JCSM: The Artist’s of Camera Lucida

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This video contains an excerpt of the artist’s work.

On Thursday, November 3rd, Rick Silva will be participating in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art’s first video art exhibition, Camera Lucida. Rick’s work is in the form of short, computer-generated videos featuring different types of birds. Silva has a series entitled “The Silva Field Guide to Birds of the Parallel Future.” These videos include clips of colorful and unique birds flying and existing within the frame of approximately thirty-second long videos. Dennis Harper, the curator at collections and exhibits at the museum, explains that “Visitors will encounter [the exhibit] as a sort of electronic flock soaring across a field of six wall-mounted monitors. This makes for a more monumental, immersive, and communal experience than when viewed in small frames on a mobile device or desktop computer. It’s very compelling to see the assortment of fantastical creatures looping in motion simultaneously.” Parts of this exhibit can be viewed on Silva’s website, silvafieldguide.com.

Rick Silva is an artist whose recent videos, websites and images explore notions of landscape and wilderness in the 21st century. He received an MFA from The University of Colorado in 2007, and has since shown extensively nationally and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions at TRANSFER Gallery in New York, Wil Aballe Art Projects in Vancouver, New Shelter Plan in Copenhagen, and Ditch Projects in Oregon. His projects are included in multiple permanent collections such as The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Borusan Contemporary Collection. WIRED called Silva’s videos “glitchy, curious things; some mesmerizing, some arresting.” He lives and works in Eugene Oregon where he is a professor of Art & Technology at the University of Oregon.

 

Written by Leslie Rewis, a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the English Department at Auburn University.

Camera Lucida: Jillian Mayer

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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.

Jillian Mayer

That manner of subversive appropriation today includes pseudo infomercials and music videos, along with the slick fades and editing tricks we have come to know through contemporary mainstream television. The videos of Jillian Mayer, another artist exhibiting in Camera Lucida, hold up a virtual funhouse mirror to the deceits of popular television, cinema, and the Internet. Their humorously distorted reflections are both ludicrous and acutely on point. As if wielding the ultimate universal remote, Mayer channel hops among genres and formats as she takes on the clichéd memes, cultural affectations, lowbrow entertainment, social media confessionals, and online cons that occupy a large portion of her generation’s post-wired existence. Though masked by an aura of pop accessibility and innocence, her work raises serious questions about our spiraling immersion into a surrogate experience of the natural world.

This video contains an excerpt from I Am Your Grandma, 2011.

Courtesy of David Castillo / Borscht Corp.

Film@JCSM: The Artists of Camera Lucida

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Film@JCSM: The Artists of Camera Lucida

On Thursday, September 29th, Rob Carter will be the second artist participating in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art’s first video art exhibition, Camera Lucida. Carter’s work is in the form of short videos that he creates by using various cityscapes, both real and imagined, to explore ideas about environmental and architectural change. His video “Metropolis” shows the history of Charlotte, North Carolina. Using real images of Charlotte, Carter adds in various skyscrapers and sports arenas, effectively creating what could be the future urban structure with a dystopic twist. In his “Foobel (an alternative history)” video, sports arenas grow larger and larger, taking up most of the natural space around them, until a sports mega dome envelops the screen. According to Carter’s vimeo.com description, the video is a “satire of the need for bigger and bigger stages of any popular type of theatre at the expense of everything else.” Carter’s “Sun City” features the town of Benidorm, Spain and uses stop-motion animation to pay homage to the sun and the energy it gives the city.

This video contains an excerpt of the artist’s work, Metropolis by Rob Carter.

Rob Carter was originally from Britain but now lives in Richmond, Virginia. He has shown his work internationally, with solo exhibitions at Art In General in New York, Galerie Stefan Röpke in Cologne, Station Independent Projects in New York, Galeria Arnés y Ropke in Madrid and Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome. He has also exhibited at Centre Pompidou-Metz in France, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan, The Field Museum in Chicago, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Carter has been awarded a Workspace residency with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2011–12) and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2010). He recently returned from a productive three-month residency at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska. The respondent for this event will be Professor Magdalena Garmaz, chair of the Environmental Design program at Auburn University.

 

Written by Leslie Rewis, a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the English Department at Auburn University.

Camera Lucida: Jillian Mayer Visits JCSM

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Internationally Acclaimed Artist Discusses Her Work

Jillian Mayer, one of the artist’s featured in Camera Lucida visited Auburn’s art museum to present her work to students and the community. She discusses what it means to her to have her work displayed here in Auburn, as well as her reaction when her most well known work, “I AM Your Grandma,” reached over three million views on YouTube.

Mayer’s work is in the form of common viral videos that swarm the internet daily. She has presented her work at galleries and museums internationally such as MoMA, MoCA:NoMi, BAM, Bass Museum, the Contemporary Museum of Montreal with the Montreal Biennial (2014) and film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and the New York Film Festival. Mayer’s recent awards include the Creative Capital Fellowship for 2015 as well as the South Florida Cultural Consortium’s Visual/Media Artists Fellowship in 2011 and in 2014.

Produced by Tracy Awino, Auburn University journalism senior

Camera Lucida: LigoranoReese

By | Art, Camera Lucida, Film, Traveling Exhibition | No Comments

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

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.

Camera Lucida: Joe Hamilton

By | Art, Camera Lucida, Film, Traveling Exhibition | No Comments

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.

Film@JCSM: The Artists of Camera Lucida

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Film@JCSM: The Artists of Camera Lucida

On Thursday, September 8th, Jillian Mayer will be participating in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art’s first video art exhibition, Camera Lucida. Her work is in the form of common viral YouTube videos which often have “click-bait” titles. Mayer pokes fun at some of the most common popular videos that become viral but are virtually meaningless. Her video with the most provocative title, “Hot Beach Babe Aims to Please” features a woman in a bathing suit walking out of the ocean while surrounded by computer mouse arrows. Mayer turns the common theme of these videos on their head and uses the arrows to show how everyone judges and stares at the woman in the short. In her video “MakeUp Tutorial HOW TO HIDE FROM CAMERAS”, she mimics the many viral how-to makeup videos on YouTube but with a twist. She advises her viewers on how to do their makeup in order to be unrecognizable by cameras, computers, and robots while walking around the city. Mayer uses common phrases generally found in make-up videos and repeats that her viewers need to make sure they are “breaking up that [the forehead] region.” Mayer’s most watched video features her in an eclectic range of costumes as she confronts her own future demise as well as what her future grandchild will think of her. “I AM Your Grandma” has over three million views on YouTube. All of her videos seek to turn a lens onto the culture of mainstream society and make it question the perspective from which is views the world.

This video contains and excerpt from the artist’s work, I AM Your Grandma

Mayer has presented her work at galleries and museums internationally such as MoMA, MoCA:NoMi, BAM, Bass Museum, the Contemporary Museum of Montreal with the Montreal Biennial (2014) and film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and the New York Film Festival. Mayer’s recent awards include the Creative Capital Fellowship for 2015 as well as the South Florida Cultural Consortium’s Visual/Media Artists Fellowship in 2011 and in 2014. The respondent to Jillian Mayer at this event is Hollie Lavenstein, an associate professor in the department of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University. Lavenstein says of Mayer’s work that it is “accessible, playful, yet cerebral all at once. Her visit is a terrific opportunity for Auburn to talk with an internationally-acclaimed artist who works seamlessly across multiple platforms.”

Written by Leslie Rewis, a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the English Department at Auburn University.

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