New Video Art Visions

A new universe of hybrid digital art forms beckons...

Let's go inside it

In this converging reality of hyper connectivity, interactivity, visual stimulation, mega information, and obsessive documentation, some young artists are using digital technology to make unusual, unsettling artistic expressions that reflect the era we live in. These hybrid moving pictures are hard to define as exclusively film or video.

For Students

Do any of you have some students who are interested in trying out new mixed media art forms using film, scenography, the internet, collage and digital manipulation to explore the electric mania of modern life? Is this an area that you don't know much about? Don't worry if you don't, just direct them towards some artists who do. Show them the film clips here to really get inspired and see what is possible. Chances are they will relate to these art forms more than you or I do and possibly understand the processes behind them better too. You don't need fancy software to get started, there are lots of readily available software including imovies and even certain apps that can be used to piece together clips from you tube, home movies, screen shots etc.

Here are a couple of my favorite new visionary video artists...

Inspired by ebay, turtles and nail polish

Camille Henrot

In her 13 minute film, Grosse Fatigue, the artist tells the story of the universes creation as a spoken word poem that accompanies a wild, beautiful, mixed up sequence drawing on history, science, evolution, religion, pop art and culture and the internet.

It mixes scientific history with Creation stories belonging to religious (Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, etc.), hermetic (Kabbalah, Freemasonry, etc.), and oral (Dogon, Inuit, Navajo, etc.) traditions in a joyous syncretism. In the visual background of this impassioned oration, Camille Henrot performs what she calls an “intuitive unfolding of knowledge” through a series of shots unveiling the treasures hidden away in the prestigious collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.[1] – shots that have been reworked with images found on the internet and scenes filmed in locations as diverse as a pet store and a domestic interior that appear like pop-ups at the screen’s surface.

Watch a 7 minute interview of the artist with excerpts from the film Grosse Fatigue

Camille Henrot "Grosse Fatigue" from kamel mennour on Vimeo.

If that wasn't strange enough, are you ready now for the bizzare, psychedelic, confusing, immersive video "environments" of

Ryan Trecartin?

Trecartin is best known as a video artist, although he has worked in sculpture, installation and photography. His films, which blend sitcomesque performance art with hypnotically garish digital collages, are confusing in the extreme.

"It’s difficult to describe Ryan Trecartin’s work without sounding hopelessly overwhelmed. I want to say a load of finger-snappy stuff like ‘Imagine if Hieronymus Bosch and Keith Haring got together and made a movie,’ or ‘If Facebook had a nightmare, it would look like this.’

The first time I saw P.opular, for example, it induced the kind of nerve-tingling reaction I’d often read about but rarely experienced. The interpretive tools that TV and cinema equip us with are useless here. Try to decode a plot from the tempest of signs and signifiers, or attempt to ‘read’ character in any remotely Freudian sense, and you’ll end up with a headache. My advice: just roll with it, let the images jitter by, and pay attention to the way your brain responds.
Composed using widely available editing software (his first films were edited on iMovie), Trecartin’s films flicker like straight-to-tape renditions of an oversaturated world. They star tribes of kids and tricksters whose speech is articulate yet schizophasic, a patois of home-brewed slang, corporate buzzwords and chat-room inanities that blend and stutter like the unmediated mutterings of the digital unconscious. These films appear to be about as narrative-led as a computer meltdown, but they are undeniably compelling.[1]

ANY EVER (Trailer), Ryan Trecartin PS1 from Ryan Trecartin on Vimeo.

Read the article on Trecartin, Experimental People in the New Yorker


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