Render: New Construction in Video Art
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UCR California Museum of Photography presents two new exhibitions that explore the use of both old and new photo-based and moving image technologies.
Render: New Construction in Video Art explores the physical and phenomenological processes of video in contemporary art. It examines the intermingling of the materiality of technology and video in which artists use pixels and particle units from film to produce a new layer of mediated work. Used in computer editing programs, “rendering” is a required process to generate and solidify special effects and transitions. Consequently, the works in the exhibition apply artistic uses of translating visual data from analog to the digital, and vice versa. Organized by UCR California Museum of Photography and curated by Jeff Cain, Exhibition Designer, UCR ARTSblock and Jennifer Frias, Associate Curator, UCR Sweeney Art Gallery, and Georg Burwick, Director of Digital Media, UCR ARTSblock.
The artists in the exhibition include individuals and collaborative teams: Josh Azzarella, Rebecca Baron and Doug Goodwin, Jonathan Cecil, Robert Crouch and Yann Novak, Sean Dockray, Victoria Fu, Christopher O’Leary, Mike Toillion, Jennifer West, and Jemima Wyman.
Render: New Construction in Video Art also includes Culver Center of the Arts’ Digital Mural Projects’ presentation of Jason Heath: Resonant Bodies, an interactive audiovisual installation that treats the main entrance of the Culver Center as a resonant space where people in motion affect harmonic sounds, as well as the colorful video feeds displayed on two custom-built screens flanking the Culver's front doors.
Descriptions of Selected Projects
Altering visual history and memory by erasing the photographic record is the basis of Josh Azzarella’s work in Untitled #7 (16mm) and Untitled #9 (W.T.P.1). Using graphic design programs, Azzarella rebuilds the footage, frame-by-frame, of a World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001 and the Kennedy assassination of November 22, 1963, to produce modified sequences, rewriting history. In both works, Azzarella erases the impact that is inscribed in our memory and radically reconstructs an alternate outcome.
Victoria Fu’s work illustrates the elasticity of time and its possible breaks and slippages as it continues to move forward. In Lake House, Fu employs the “rewind effect” to illustrate a visual palindrome. The featured characters interact and coexist in opposing dimensions through formations of symmetry or doubling. Through this process, the characters’ actions correspond to the control-struggle of their relationship, and suggest a rupture in the temporal structure of the narrative.
Jennifer West is known for making “cameraless” films by physically manipulating 16mm, 35mm, and 70mm with a variety of substances and performances. Influenced by experimental filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, Joseph Cornell, and Maya Deren, she has treated film with lipstick kisses, had
skateboarders ride over film, and even treated film stock with Kool-Aid and LSD. In her 2008 film, Idyllwild Camping Smell Film, she lit a 16mm film of friends making s’mores over a campfire and treated it with aromatic materials including bug spray, sweat, beer, white gas, pit toilet and other camping materials to create a synesthetic representation of friendship and camping outdoors.