Technology is such a vital part of our lives. It’s hard to believe that the Internet became available to the public just 29 years ago. A new exhibition at Reeves House, “Coded Realities: Art + Technologyexamines how the machines we create serve as mirrors that magnify our desires and amplify our perceptions. The exhibition features established and emerging artists who use technology to create installations and artworks. Nicole Lampl, director and curator of Reeves Housejoined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom with the prominent multidisciplinary artist jim campbell to learn more about the exhibition.
A Jim Campbell play based on 2017 Images of the DC Women’s March:
“The work in this exhibition is a little abstract close-up of people walking by, and one of the things it does is you see pink hats going by, and that’s one of the main clues to tell you what it is you’re looking at because it’s so abstract,” Campbell said. “There’s something about the low resolution; by taking out the details…you don’t need the faces of the people to know what’s going on and the vibe of the environment, so it’s just a different way of looking at things in low res. You don’t pay attention to the details because you don’t have any.
“What happens when a job is done, and you’re in front of it, is the analytical part of your brain, while you’re looking at it, kind of shuts down,” Campbell said. “Because you can’t tell who the person is. There are no edges to look at. You usually can’t even tell what gender they are. And so the information flows through you, bypassing the analytical parts of your brain. So I see that as more primitive, more instantaneous… sort of an essence.
About the late videographer and sculptor Alan Rath:
“Alan did a number of things before other people, and the biggest one…was when he started doing work in the mid-80s. Most video art at the time was sort of self-referential, and it was very political. It was about the media. It was about the television,” Campbell explained. “While Al took it all away from the start, and he said, I’m interested in sculpture, and I’m interested in using video in my sculpture.”
“For example, he would take his TV tubes out of the boxes they were in so that there was no longer any reference to Sony or Samsung or any of the other manufacturers. It wasn’t about that. It was about using these images and CRTs as part of a sculpture, so he kind of moved away from video art as political commentary.
Other highlights from “Coded Realities:”
“[Laurie Frick] did some articles on DNA sequencing and visualizing that. Her work is really all-encompassing about visualizing data and compressing a lot of data into something more comprehensible and comprehensible from an overwhelming amount of information, and she has these really amazing pieces that are used to track her time, as well as tracking her sleep — so she’s using technology in order to track all of that personal information,” Lampl said.
“We have Owen McAteer, who has … the first piece that you come across when you walk into this space, and it’s made out of a toggle dot matrix, which is a technology used historically on bus panels and things like that, although it’s all gone digital now,” Lampl explained. “What’s great about this piece is that it’s interactive. There’s a depth-sensing camera attached to the bottom, so when people walk in, they suddenly see their silhouette appear, and they can interact with it. and move, and the turning point will reflect those moves.
“Coded Realities: Art + Technology” is on view at the Reeves House Visual Arts Center in Woodstock, GA through April 17. More information is available here.