Join us for a conversation with artist Natalie Bookchin about her installation, Now he's out in public and everyone can see, currently on view at LACE. Bookchin will be joined by Dr. Alexandra Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College.
Now he's out in public and everyone can see, an 18-channel video installation by Natalie Bookchin that weaves together found fragments from online video diaries in which vloggers recount a series of media scandals involving African American men. The multiple stories originally circulated and enflamed by networks of corporate media gone viral, intersect around themes of racial and class identity and explore popular attitudes, anxieties, and conflicts about race. Bookchin’s work creates a critical context for otherwise isolated and scatter-shot online voices, drawing links, making connections, and locating tropes between individual rants and responses. The montage produced by the multiple monitors in the gallery mirrors the composite story, of a racialized subject under scrutiny. Where the typical viewer of online video is a single person in front of her screen, the installation produces an active social space where multiple viewers navigate through a media environment, piecing together a fragmented and layered narrative told across space and time.
A major new work by Bookchin, Now he’s out in public and everyone can see was developed over the past two and a half years and is part of a larger body of work in which Bookchin repurposes videos made and circulated online, giving new social shape and form to individual expression. Previous video works in this series also address current social events and phenomena including joblessness, mood-stabilizing drugs, and DIY dance videos. This newest project is more spatially and conceptually complex, weaving together many more videos, sounds, voices, narratives, and perspectives into three-dimensional space. This further evolution of form reflects and explores the mix of struggles, conflicts, and harmony in some of the critical stories we as a society are telling today about who we are, and what we aspire to be, and represents a significant step in Bookchin’s practice.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Natalie Bookchin's videos and installations explore new forms of documentary, addressing conditions of mass connectivity and isolation and exploring the stories we are telling about the world and ourselves. Her work is exhibited widely, including at LACMA, PS1, Mass MOCA, the Generali Foundation, the Walker Art Center, the Pompidou Centre, MOCA Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum, the Tate, and Creative Time. She has received numerous grants and awards, including from Creative Capital, California Arts Council, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, California Community Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Daniel Langlois Foundation, a COLA Artist Fellowship and most recently, two awards from The Center for Cultural Innovation. In 1999-2000 Bookchin organized <net.net.net>, an eight month series of lectures and workshops on art, activism and the Internet at CalArts, MOCA in LA, and Laboratorio Cinematek in Tijuana. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is on the faculty of the Photography & Media Program at CalArts. More at bookchin.net
ABOUT THE SCHOLAR
Dr. Alexandra Juhasz is Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. She makes and studies committed media practices that contribute to political change and individual and community growth. She is the author of AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video (Duke University Press, 1995), Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video (University of Minnesota Press, 2001), F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing, co-edited with Jesse Lerner (Minnesota, 2005), and Media Praxis: A Radical Web-Site Integrating Theory, Practice and Politics, mediapraxis.org. She has published extensively on documentary film and video. Dr. Juhasz is also the producer of educational videotapes on feminist issues from AIDS to teen pregnancy. She recently completed the feature documentaries SCALE: Measuring Might in the Media Age (2008), Video Remains (2005), and Dear Gabe (2003) as well as Women of Vision: 18 Histories in Feminist Film and Video (1998) and the shorts, RELEASED: 5 Short Videos about Women and Film (2000) and Naming Prairie (2001), a Sundance Film Festival, 2002, official selection. She is the producer of the feature films, The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1997) and The Owls (Dunye, 2010). Her current work is on and about YouTube: youtube.com/mediapraxisme and aljean.wordpress.com. Her born-digital on-line “video-book” about YouTube, Learning from YouTube, is available from MIT Press (Winter 2011, mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12596).