Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The subject matter of “Liquid Door,” an exhibition of work by Isola & Norzi on-view at Art in General in New York, is the screen (and the desire to transcend the screen) between the human mind and the natural world.

One views:

1. { salt water [ fresh water ( distilled water ) fresh water ] salt water }, an aquarium tank filtering between salt water, fresh water, and distilled water.

2. Platonic Aquarium, the schematic model of an idealized Buckminster Fuller-esque underwater domicile.

3. Bated Breath, a series of matted photographs depicting the artists’ attempts to re-create the “liquid door” of Jacques Cousteau’s “Starfish House” (a “door” which emerges due to the air pressure of the water colliding with the air pressure at the threshold of the House)

4. And Large Glass, a video documenting the pas de deux performance conducted between a scuba diver and the large transparent glass screening him from the public space of the Coney Island Aquarium.

Throughout the viewing of these works, one’s attention is nudged further and further away from the form of life occurring in the water and closer and closer towards the screens which separate one from this very form.

Indeed, there’s something anti-aquatic about it – not beautiful, not flowing, not majestic; claustrophobic, mirrored, alienating.

This is not necessarily a problem, though; in fact, if one spends enough time in the show an intriguing (if not bitter) quasi-philosophical thought might enter one’s mind:

In one’s search for a “closeness” to nature, perhaps these efforts have only increased one’s dependence-on and desire-for the screens which separate.

This thematic crystallizes as one views Anemonia Mirabilis, a projected video loop (one screen from nature) depicting vintage film footage (another screen from nature) of Cousteau and his colleagues smoking cigarettes in their underwater home (a third screen from nature) which the artists have re-filmed through the “transparent” water (a fourth “natural” screen from nature) of a “transparent” aquarium tank (a fifth screen from nature) and contextualized in a space marked for “art” (a final screen from nature).

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Exotic-A by Kari Altmann is a video of continuously fracturing digital imagery depicting a natural “exotica” of tropical flora and fauna.

Video documents move in, out, and through one another in a continuous flux. They are bound by both a static, “bedrock” background image, as well as a static, diaphanous foreground “gauze.”

The views shift in and out of focus and it all remains dreamy and illusionistic.

The work, thus, mirrors the indeterminacy of the natural world.

It is not a coherent form with an essential focal point; it is an ecology – in motion.

Altmann’s broader project works with these same ecological principals.

When one views Altmann’s website, most of her projects are listed, but not linked to as they are either works in progress, or research for future projects, or simply not available to be viewed.

But, go back to her site a month later and something’s changed.

Some of the work from the more distant historical past is made available, and some of the work from the more recent historical past is made unavailable.

Altmann understands her personal archive of work to be mutable, taking advantage of the instantaneousness and general ease of change in the digital, to place her own history in flux.

Projects are listed; projects are taken away.

All one can do is describe the view as it slips out of one’s grasp again and again.