1. Simultaneous action, development, or occurrence 2. The state of operating or developing according to the same scale as something else
Lessons of timekeeping are part of our everyday experience with technology. Our dependence on the information screen is always present in our use of the now common GPS devices, cell phones, televisions and computers. It is from this digital media that we tune our behavior and synchronize our daily and hourly movements.
The Hunter Museum’s new video exhibition, Synchrony, explores these connections through video works by a mix of emerging and established artists—Jonathan Horowitz, Catherine Ross, Surabhi Saraf, Mary Ellen Strom, Ann Carlson, Johan Grimonprez, Takeshi Murata and Oliver Herring.
The videos, which vary in length from 3 to 80 minutes, are focused on how we as a society are culturally conditioned to respond to screens and experience large portions of our lives through them. Whether we are staring at a television screen, computer monitor or cell phones, these devices are almost directly connected to our perception of our environment and our actions within it.
Artists Oliver Herring, Catherine Ross, Mary Ellen Strom and Ann Carlson consider the awkwardness of physical humor and comedy through gesture and body language. Ross’s work, Trilling, appropriates and recombines footage from the 1980s sitcom, Three’s Company. The collaborative team of Strom and Carlson present a quartet of attorneys performing a choreographed set of movements and chants exploring the potential of the business world as a creative arena. Artist Oliver Herring documents the evolution of delirium in an exhaustive study and emulation of balletic positions and transitions inside a motel room.
Artist Jonathan Horowitz explores irony, obsolescence and death in his work “The Soul of Tammi Terrell.” The dual screen video piece juxtaposes the singer’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” from a 1967 clip with the 1998 Hollywood movie “Stepmom” in which Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts sing the same song.
And artist Surabhi Saraf’s installation, Fold, creates a multifaceted and complex view of mundane activity of folding a piece of fabric. This single act is amplified using multiple projections of this repeated act.
The works in this exhibition act as stimulants, metaphors, and poetic notions related to this notion of human and digital synchronization, as we engage the audience in an amplified connection between the body and the screen.
The exhibition is organized by the Hunter Museum, and collaboratively curated with Phillip Lewis, UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Photo and Media Art at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.