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Archive for the ‘New Media’ Category

This post comes to us from Carolyn Nims, Education Assistant. 

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Brown Gillespie (b. 1953), Milky Way, 2011, Wood, custom programmed LEDs, acrylic on canvas, 53 x 50 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Mary Gillespie.

Brown Gillespie (b. 1953), Milky Way, 2011, Wood, custom programmed LEDs, acrylic on canvas, 53 x 50 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Mary Gillespie.

Milky Way (2010) is part of Brown Gillespie’s ongoing project, Light Visions. This cutting edge contemporary artwork consists of an abstract acrylic painting on canvas recessed in a frame set with light emitting diode (LED) lights all along the inside. The LED lights are a continuous alternating series of red, green, and blue, which are programmed to fade in and out in varying patterns and combinations. The effects are visually and intellectually stimulating. As the lighting color combinations change, so do the colors of the acrylic painting. Usually, when viewing a painting under white light, the color of the paint is static. We assume that once a pigment is set, so is the color. We consider color as a constant within a work of art, while other aspects are more subjective. However, the LED lights play with color mixing principles to show how mutable color can be, in relation to light and other colors. The viewer may wonder, Why do these colors change? This artwork bids us to question the rules that govern color, making it worthwhile to be at least familiar with some color theory, in particular the color mixing principles that Gillespie plays with.

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For the purpose of these interrogations, the Museum has developed a series of questions for exhibiting contemporary artists in an attempt to enliven and explore the discourse between the artist and the institution – with specific focus on site, interpretation, relevance, process, and sources.

Eric Souther builds and utilizes his own software, manipulating video and sound to explore how technology shapes experience and communication in our contemporary culture. His individualistic artistic explorations of the unseen network of the digital age reveal the experiences of modern life “saturated with digital information.”

Souther’s “Chair” is on view at the NBMAA until March 31st. Search Engine Vision “Chair”, 2009. Eric Souther. Single-channel video.

Souther’s “Chair” is on view at the NBMAA until March 31st.
Search Engine Vision “Chair”, 2009. Eric Souther. Single-channel video.

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This post comes to us from Bethany Gugliemino, Curatorial Intern.

 

Particular Heights 2.0, 2012. Paul Theriault (b.1972) and Siebren Versteeg (b.1971). Handmade steel swing set, counter, and LCD monitor. Collection of the artists.

 On the evening of May 25, the LED counter mounted above the swing in the front courtyard of the NBMAA displayed a single red digit: 0. Two weeks later, the counter boasted the significantly larger number of 3614, a number that will only continue to grow in the coming months. This swing is one part of Particular Heights 2.0, the second incarnation of an installation by artists Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg that was first displayed in New Haven, Connecticut in 2010. Consisting of an outdoor component (the swing and LED counter) and a gallery component, the installation falls into the category of New Media, a field with which both Theriault and Versteeg are very familiar. New Media involves the fusion of traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture, and music with the interactive potential of computers, communications technology, and the internet. Both Theriault and Versteeg have worked individually with New Media in the past, producing works that explore themes of contemporary life and the way that digital technology can be used to create pieces that constantly change and grow.

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Blue Boar (2010) installed in the Contemporary Gallery at the NBMAA

The New Britain Museum of American Art is pleased to feature the newest addition to the New Media series, Blue Boar, 2010 by Victoria Bradbury. This interactive, mixed-media installation brings the viewer into the midst of a witch trial – the so-called “blue boar incident.” In 1692, 75-year-old Mary Bradbury, the artist’s 10th great-grandmother and the first “American” woman in her lineage, was convicted of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. Two local men, Richard Carr and Zerubabel Endicott, accused Mrs. Bradbury of transforming herself into a blue boar while she was tending to her garden. Victoria Bradbury retells the “blue boar incident”  through a sewn book narrated by vegetables, face recognition software projected onto a sculpture of a boar, and a video animation of a blue boar running through flowers.

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So She Floats, 2010. Deb Todd Wheeler (b.1965). HD video (running time: 5 minutes). Georgie Friedman: Cinematography; Heidi Keyser: Actor, Allison Layton: Actor. Courtesy of Ellen Miller Gallery.

Many people are not receptive to contemporary art, deeming it too cold, somewhat elitist, and rather inaccessible. In some ways, the conceptual nature of a sizable fraction of contemporary art does not bode well in a society that is used to instant gratification. We live in a world where a meal can take less than a minute to make, numerous forms of entertainment are available at the click of a button, and a question that used to take hours to answer by pouring over books and archives can now be obtained instantly via the Internet. By extension, art that denies instant aesthetic pleasure often raises suspicion and lends itself to being overlooked or dismissed altogether. It could be argued that some artists today are making art only for the informed audience who are well-versed in philosophy and art historical discourse. However, many artists, like Deb Todd Wheeler are finding new, innovative ways to directly involve, rather than shut out, every type of viewer.

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Blue Boar, 2009. Victoria Bradbury (b.1981). Video still.

The phenomenon of “global art” emerged after a revision of the world’s relations. With the expansion of communication and technology, a new inter-connectivity was created throughout most of the globe. New media forms and aesthetic relations were born as a response to and embodiment of  the cross-cultural interchanges and easy transmutations of national borders.

Currently, many artists are using their practice to probe the new relations of power in a global world by creating works that set in place certain social relations. In each piece, the participating spectator and the artist reenact every-day social relationships that model aspects of global interactions as a whole.  In an attempt to describe this current in art, internationally-renowned curator Nicholas Bourriaud introduced the theory of relational aesthetics in his work Esthétique Relationelle (1998). His main claim is that the social interactions created between the viewing audience and a work of art hold the true meaning of art. Through “little gestures,” Bourriaud suggests, the “relational fabric” of society may be “re-stitched”(1).

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One of Efremoff’s artworks

Efremoff is on the forefront of New Media art. He obtained his MFA from the University of Connecticut, and has exhibited all over the United States and abroad in counties including Italy, Germany, and South Korea.

Working in this “new media” is, of course,  new and constantly in flux. New Media was pioneered in the 1960s, and modern technology has opened the door to endless possibilities. The very definition of “art” comes into question with these new parameters because of the plastic nature of the medium. (more…)

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