Video and Interactive Installations
The word esthetic refers to experience as appreciative, perceiving, and enjoying. It denotes the consumer’s rather than the producer’s standpoint.--John Dewey, Art as Experience
Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe, New Mexico
In attending the exhibits at the festival, I found myself thinking about the different ways that artists approached using video and interactive media to create an esthetic experience. Here are a few that occurred to me and some samples from the exhibition. Keep in mind these are my categories based on being a consumer, not on the artist's written intent.
1. Create an entirely new experience that has no reference points in every day life.
2. Recreate an experience: Bring visual consciousness to a lived experience
3. Making visible an experience/process/sensation that is invisible
4. Abstract interpretation of natural life
5. Expanding the sensory limits (vision, multiple perspectives, audio)
6. Ability for real-time interaction
This video struck me as a beautiful way of taking something ordinary and abstracting it to propose an entirely different vision. To see the video visit the artist's website: Salvatore Insana.
This is another my category of extending the sensory experience. This artist creates a painted canvas, then layers it with video projection, sound and animation thus giving the viewer more information about the possible narrative. The painting, projection, and the sound worked really well together. To see the actual installation and how it was made click on the above image or visit www.milestoland.com.
This installation is a wonderful example of real-time interactivity. A stretched sheet of spandex used like a scrim held a projected image. As the user pushes into the scrim the the image reacts to the touch both visually and audibly by altering the image and the music. I find that many interactive installations are hit-and-miss in their attempt to engage the participant but this one was a huge hit. The scrim alone felt good to the touch, and then the sensation of pushing with the material and intensifying the music and the image was a very satisfying sensory experience. To really get an idea of how this installation works, watch a video about it at: www.michaelpallison.com.
So much more to see...
On this page I really wanted to concentrate on different ways that artists, whose work I experienced first-hand at the festival, are using electronic-based media. But this is such a tiny fraction of what is out there. And just like all art it runs the gamut of the good, the bad and the ugly. For convenience, I've put a few links together of this type of art. I'll keep adding to this list as I find new things.
Currents New Media Festival list of artists
A Pinterest page of experiential art installations
In this video all imagery is abstract with no objective references. There is sound but nothing recognizable. To see the video and the artist's statement go to: Anabel Costa website.
In Matthew Chase-Daniel's 2013 Video and water sculpture, he assembles a combination of natural and video elements to recreate the experience of a running stream. See his website at: Matthew Chase-Daniel.
As a painter and mixed media artist who is moving into video work, I found this self-created category of most interest to me, and this installation was one of my favorites at the festival. This installation is expanding the sensory ability of a still image. Imagine 3 large screen tvs attached to a wall side by side (as above). At first look the screens appear to be canvases. As you sit and watch the "paintings," you notice slight shifts in colors and imagery. Some parts of the composition are "still" while others are slightly moving. But nothing is really still, the images are all changing slightly as you watch until you have an entirely different image in front of you (as seen in the three sets of images above). To see more visit, Campbell's website at: www.robertcampbellstudio.com.
A shout out
There were a couple of single channel videos that I just plain enjoyed. To Do takes an ordinary human activity and elevates it to humor, and Reframed appropriates the urban landscape and gives it power within "The Frame." Check out the videos by clicking on them.