Posts Tagged ‘screen’

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).

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Harm van den Dorpel’s Texture Mapping works are minimal, starkly-outlined cube sculptures whose high-gloss surfaces each depict abstract images reading to the viewer as “painterly.”

The “painterly-ness” of each image, though, is mutated by the de-texturing (or mapping of texture) accompanying one’s view of their subject matter through the glossy “screen” of transparent acrylic which functions as the surface of each cube.

The result is less the experience of viewing a painting first-hand (as in, say, a museum) and more the experience of viewing a painting remotely (as through, say, the screen of a computer).

In the process of describing the experience of textural remoteness, however, van den Dorpel creates a short-circuit to a whole new type of texture:

That of virtual space.

He does so in at least two ways:

1. Van den Dorpel’s technique in these works is to paint on the surface of the acrylic which – in the final product – will be viewed as the inside (as opposed to the, more traditional, outside) of the cube sculpture.

One’s view of the painting process is, thus, reversed.

The first layers of paint applied to the surface are the most visible and everything else is masked through, not overpainting, but underpainting.

The virtual presence of this painting’s absence is, thus, activated.

2. Similarly, the mobility of the relatively very light cubes and their subsequent malleability into almost instantaneous re-arrangement nudge the viewer’s understanding of the work’s physical “presence” away from, say, the mass and volume of Minimalist cubes and closer to the virtual 3D space of Second Life.