We have all been through something in the last few months. For me (among other more life changing events), it has been re-imagining a show at the State of the Art Gallery with David Watkins, Jr. We had been sharing ideas and images, using our study of Women of the French Revolution as a starting point. When COVID19 appeared on the scene in March, our plans changed. What, now, would be best for an online / window exhibit?
With the gallery closing indefinitely, David and I began to discuss other possibilities in late April, including virtual online galleries and videos. Nature was now our starting point, with botanical specimens inspiring David, and the unruly landscape inspiring me. Digital tools helped us reshape and present what we had faithfully captured with our digital devices,
After musing on my Lackawanna Rail Trail Open Gate Series, I settled on the idea of exploring what it can mean to "go through" something. What "gates" have I gone through? Think of the art you see here as puzzles that can be solved by anyone, because the answer resides in the viewer's own journey through time and space. Some hints:
Look for references to and samples from works of 19th Century Japanese artists Hiroshige, Hokusai and his daughter Oi.
Open the gates of your mind to watch and listen to video/audio: experimentation includes fantastical constructing and deconstructing of source files derived from the natural landscape.
Consider the infinite possibilities available when reinventing analog experience as digital expression. A new life is infused into images long forgotten.
I suspect, with an open mind, you might even see a bit of your own dreams and nightmares in this work.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
A Side Note
In 2007 I was awarded a grant to create a collaborative community video installation titled Aleatoric Video. The project, temporarily installed in Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga, and Steuben Counties, continues to be part of the Rhizome archive of digitally born art.
Online & Through the Window was conceived in a similar spirit: David and I collaborated over the Internet with digital tools to construct an exhibition that is meant to primarily exist on the Internet. The images and video are not an afterthought, or simulacrum of a real time exhibition, but a product in and of itself. It is meant to be consumed/enjoyed/viewed/heard as an online experience.
Rhizome champions born-digital art and culture through commissions, exhibitions, digital preservation, and software development. Founded by artist Mark Tribe as a listserve including some of the first artists to work online, Rhizome has played an integral role in the history of contemporary art engaged with digital technologies and the internet.