Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Endangered Species

Endangered Species

Here's what you missed:

A cheery, knowledgeable, pigtailed Melanie Manos made her way to the podium. She opened the evening posing an interesting question: how does "video art" sell? Think about it, who wants to buy a looping track of images pasted against a techno beat? Well, obviously not all video art is like this but how would an art collector preserve the film as well as show it? Video artists may have it a little rougher in terms of establishing an audience and selling their videos as "art".

Getting past some technical problems, the evening consisted of six artists who each showed a few 3 to 5 minute videos.

Mombert, from Brooklyn, had 4 short films that all with the strange titles such as "The Gas Face", "Egg Head" and "Meat Head". Each video had a figure that either got pelted with eggs and sandwich fixings or was edited with "farting music" and clucking chickens.

Los Angeles artist, Barnet used annoying editing and cuts to her video called "Mistakes" which apparently drive a person away.

Another Los Angeles artist, Mushkin had a varied approach. One video used nighttime sky camera shots mixed with fireworks exploding backwards which turned into a hypnotic dance of light. The other film, lighter yet heavy with content, was titled IF YOU LIVED HERE YOU'D BE HOME BY NOW. This film was a narrative that had a compulsive quality.

Windsor artist, McNamara captured locations such as Brighton England, and street corners of Barcelona and Detroit in a hypnotic, repetitive fashion paired with music he mixed himself.

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I recommend if you are interested in video art to look up Hiraki Sawa. Using fancy cut and pasting techniques he builds fantasy world films that include airplanes that take off and land within his London apartment. He is an amazing film artist that will knock your socks off!!


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