Forms is an ongoing collaboration between visuals artists Memo Akten and Quayola, a series of studies on human motion, and its reverberations through space and time. It is inspired by the works of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton, Étienne-Jules Marey as well as similarly inspired modernist cubist works such as Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase No.2″. Rather than focusing on observable trajectories, it explores techniques of extrapolation to sculpt abstract forms, visualizing unseen relationships – power, balance, grace and conflict – between the body and its surroundings.
The project investigates athletes; pushing their bodies to their extreme capabilities, their movements shaped by an evolutionary process targeting a winning performance. Traditionally a form of entertainment in todays society with an overpowering competitive edge, the disciplines are deconstructed and interrogated from an exclusively mechanical and aesthetic point of view; concentrating on the invisible forces generated by and influencing the movement.
The source for the study is footage from the Commonwealth Games. The process of transformation from live footage to abstract forms is exposed as part of the interactive multi-screen artwork, to provide insight into the evolution of the specially crafted world in which the athletes were placed.
The video installation is currently being exhibited at the National Media Museums ’In The Blink of an Eye’ Exhibition, 9th March – 2nd September, 2012, alongside classic images by photographers as diverse Harold Edgerton, Eadweard Muybridge, Roger Fenton, Richard Billingham and Oscar Rejlander as well as historic items of equipment, films and interactive displays.
Quayola and Memo Akten – Artists
Nexus Interactive Arts - Production Company
Beccy McCray – Producer
Jo Bierton – Production Manager
Matthias Kispert - Sound design
Maxime Causeret – Houdini Developer
Raffael F J Ziegler (AKA Moco) – 3D Animator
Katie Parnell – 3D Tracker
Eoin Coughlan – 3D Tracker
Mark Davies – 3D Tracking Supervisor
Commissioned by the National Media Museum for the ‘In The Blink of an Eye‘ Exhibition 2012; with the support of imove, part of the Cultural Olympiad programme.
With thanks to BBC Motion Gallery and Commonwealth Games Federation
According to ancient mythology a monster known as the minotaur lived on the island of Crete. King Minos ordered a labyrinth to be built for the minotaur. The Athenians had to offer him human sacrifices, until Ariadne gave a ball of thread, “Ariadne’s thread”, to the ancient hero Theseus. He entered the labyrinth, killed the minotaur, and found his way back out with the help of the unrolled thread.
BIT.FLOW represents a visual and conceptional association to this ancient myth, in which the alleged chaos (the labyrinth appeared to the Athenians as a con- fusing structure of twisted paths) is defeated by unequivocal order. At the same time BIT.FLOW is concerned with an issue raised by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his interpretation of the ancient myth: What would happen if Ariadne’s thread would be irrevocably torn apart?
Navigation through the modern world is no longer linear, the thread cannot serve as a model for its description. In BIT.FLOW dozens of tiny pieces of the meta- phorical “red thread” constitute a chaotic swarm of particles or bits, the smallest elements of information. At a certain point, they are unexpectedly recombined in the oder of Ariadne’s thread and allow for perception. The signs produced by BIT. FLOW move through the tube in a particular order from beginning to end. But we can only recognise and perceive this bulk of information at particular times, from certain perspectives, as letters – a complex interplay: order in chaos – chaos in order.
The audiovisual staging of the Sydney Opera House is a poetic homage to the architecture and its constructional concept of the architect, Jørn Utzon. As Utzon said about his architecture he wanted to give it a human expression, the projected video layer in that same sense aims to establish an immediate, architectural expression.
Premiered on 25th of May 2012 in the context of Vivid Sydney - Lighting The Sails.
Filmed Footage Director: Till Botterweck, Daniel Rossa
Performer: Mimi Jeong, Heiko Büter
Replica Construction: Cantufan Klosé, Moritz Horn
Costume Design: Anne Gorke (annegorke.com)
Documentation Director: Jonas Wiese
Camera: Jonas Wiese, Max Goergen, Till Botterweck
Edit: Jonas Wiese
Festival Curator: Fergus Linehan
Technical Setup: The Electric Canvas (theelectriccanvas.com.au)
Commissioned by: Vivid Sydney (vividsydney.com)
Find an extended version of the documentation here: vimeo.com/45835808
An URBANSCREEN.com production
Videoart.net is proud to present a short documentary on prominent video artist and sculptor Buky Schwartz (1932 - 2009).
Commentary by John Henhardt
Schwartz was invited to reconstruct his video installation piece “Spring, 1981” in New York City at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery as part of an interactive video installation exhibition in April of 2007. This exhibition showcased the work of emerging video artists as well as historically important artists who have influenced and inspired the following generation.
Schwartz was born in Jerusalem and originally trained as a sculptor in Israel. Schwartz moved to London in 1959, where he played an important role in the hotbed of new sculptural directions at St. Martin’s School of Art during the 1960s. In 1971 Schwartz moved to New York, where he continues to reside part of each year. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Schwartz’s inventive use of sculptural materials, such as mirrors and wooden timbers, involved an interplay between illusory appearances and the actual, physical presence, weight, and structure of his work. This playful interaction between sculptural appearance and physical reality quickly became a central aspect in much of his video installation work as he added that modern medium to his vocabulary in the late 1970s.
In the documentary, Schwartz discusses the time in which his video constructions were conceived and eventually discovered by John Hanhardt, the curator and head of the Film and Video Department at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in 1977. At this time Schwartz was living and working in the Soho district of Manhattan. It was in his studio in Soho where he began to add new dimensions to his sculptures by integrating a stationary video camera and a monitor to his installations, thus changing the language of his art making while exploring a relatively new and unexplored medium of video installation.
Videoart.net has also included special commentary on Buky Schwartz’s
work by John Hanhardt, the former curator of film and video at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City from 1974-1996. He is renowned for the incorporation and further integration of video into the Whitney’s exhibition program, as well as its program in independent film.
Acclaimed in three worlds - Europe, Israel, and the United States - Schwartz’s work has been included in the Venice Biennale (1966), the Whitney Biennial (1981) in New York, the Carengie International (1982) in Pittsburgh, and Documenta (1987) in Kassel. He was also represented in such leading historical surveys of video art as A History of Video Art (1984) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Video Skulptur (1989), Cologne. His work has had numerous presentations in one-person and group exhibitions at galleries and museums throughout the world and is included in several private and public collections.
Please enjoy this compelling short documentary which explores an artist’s creative process and his relationship with his curator in a very unique time in American art history.
-Dianna Ekins, Associate Producer
-Dan Fine, Executive Producer and Director
Y E S
a collection of striking ideas, concepts and aesthetics.