Lecture: Ariel Noltimier Strauss and Emily Hoffman
It’s clear after screening their films how incredibly talented Emily and Ariel are when it comes to animation and storytelling. But it’s not just their raw talent that makes me think they will find a great deal of success. Emily discussed the idea of networking laterally rather than networking up, and I think this mentality will take her further than those who are just talented. While working over the past decade I’ve seen this idea put into practice and how it’s helped elevate artists to the next level. I’ve realized that instead of trying to network with the most talented (or connected) person in the room, it’s more important to strike up conversations with those around you whom you find most interesting and have genuine connections with. Finding the ways in which your artistic passions overlap and how you can help one another always seems to lead to better work in my experience.
But you still need talent to back up the networking. I was in love with the models Ariel made, especially for her piece Circadian rhythm. They were not flawless, but they were elegant. The bodies moved fluidly and the imperfections in the models highlighted their flowing movements. Especially in animation, I think there is something special about emphasizing imperfections.
Taezoo Park humanizes technology through his Digital Being project. The lifeless forgotten pieces of technology pile upon each other, but instead of remaining as “junk” the pieces and carefully formed together to create digital creatures with personalities all their own. This makes me think of how as humans we’re always looking to assign certain qualities to things around us, trying to give them as much life and personality as possible. For me it also brings up questions on how do we create unbiased technology. We’re discovering more and more the ways in which we program our own biases into technology that we assume can’t have opinions or personalities because it’s simply a machine. Digital Being raises some of those questions when you hypothetically think about the ways discarded code could interact to form it’s own new code. If it became conscious what would already be written in?
Similar to Taezoo Park’s work Stickmonger brings life to the lifeless. She builds worlds where they didn’t exist through her giant vinyl murals that completely overwhelm a space. The illustrations are beautiful and flowing, but when you look closely you are constantly being invited into darkness in her murals. In her piece Cosmic girls her characters stare into missing faces filled with other worlds or just single eyes staring right back at them. I appreciate the way her work draws you in with it’s size and playfulness, but continues to hold your gaze as you realize the content isn’t as child like and whimsical as it first appeared.
I love the way Daniel Rozin creates physical pixels, blurring the lines between digital and physical with his mirrors. Having seen his wooden mirror several times over at NYU’s ITP the part that still stands out the most to me is the sound. As you stand in front of the mirror, waving your arms around in amazement as all the tiny panels of wood flip back and forth recreating your likeness just by manipulating how the light hits the wood, the pleasant sound of all the little pieces of wood flipping back and forth fills the space. It makes the experience of a mirror almost meditative for me.
As Katherine Brice puts it “As humans, our senses limit us to believe reality is the way we perceive it”. For this exhibition I am looking at artists who’s work challenges our intuitive experience of a space, and brings into question our relationship with ourselves and our surroundings. Thinking about how we outwardly project our own interpretations of reality.
“A Ganzfeld is a German word used to describe the phenomenon of total loss of depth perception as in the experience of a white-out.” Turrell’s light installations play with our depth perception, creating seemingly endless spaces. This work calls into question our relationship with the space around us and how easily it can be manipulated into something endless. While part of our understanding of reality insists there are walls around us Turell’s manipulation of light tricks our brain into seeing a new and endless reality.
Bruce Nauman “Live Taped Video Corridor” 1970
Nauman’s interactive piece explores paradoxical situations involving space and time. As participants move closer to the monitors at the end of the corridor their own image becomes smaller and smaller. This interaction creates a heightened awareness of your existence within the space, and how you are being surveilled while participating in the space. The action involved in experiencing this piece is disorienting considering our standard perception of reality is that when we move closer to an object it becomes larger and doesn’t appear to be further away. In order to experience the artwork participants must become part of the artwork, which is a subtopic (the blurring of lines between art and audience), I am potentially interested in exploring in this exhibition.
In this interactive piece participants physically interact with ALIBI (Anatomically Lifelike Interactive Biological Interface). ALIBI is a life-size cast of a male human, filled with sensors that react to touching, speaking and breathing. These interactions produce corresponding images that can be seen on an HUD worn by the participant and also by an audience as the images are simultaneously displayed in the gallery. The images created are in constant flux - “a living phenomenon that evolves in infinite space and time and responds in real time to a participant's mental and physiological activity. What a participant sees is a real time manifestation of brain and biological activity.” This specific artwork reminds us that reality is in a constant state of flux influenced by our own specific perceptions and interpretations of that perception.
Hovver Studios (Katherine Brice) - “Liminal Spaces” 2018
Liminal Spaces is an immersive installation by Katherine Brice in collaboration with Hovver Studios. This piece focuses on the unseen qualities of light and asks us to consider what might be beyond our perceptual horizons. Like the other pieces I’ve selected in challenges our intuitive understanding of a space and reality. This piece manipulates light to present an alternate view of reality, challenging our idea that reality is simply the way we perceive it.
Mr. June produces murals that layer three dimensional effects on to architectural structures.. Although this is not digital art, I consider it relevant since it alters our perception of a physical space and therefore our potential relationship to it. It would be an interesting way to have people begin their journeys through the exhibit before they even walk in the door.