Category Archives: Video

New media and art conservation

How do we conserve new media art that is based on/created with a technology that is now obsolete?  When the art no longer “works”?  Do we allow it to disappear?  Become corrupted?  Update the software?  Read what the Whitney Museum of American Art did with Douglas Davis’s “The World’s First Collaborative Sentence”.

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This raises questions about art making, art curating, and skills museum curators need today.

What interesting questions!

Be sure to click on the above links to see more about this art.

Pyrotechnics as art

Sometimes art works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes plans for works seem more complete than the finished work.  These are things to consider when we watch the video of “Explosion Event.”  Also ask yourself:  What do you expect to see when you hear about a holiday tree “exploding”?  Are you judging the event based on what’s possible in computer games or Hollywood?  Keep the materials in mind here, as well as the things one can’t plan for, such as the wind!

The artist, Cai Guo-Qing, is the last artist discussed in Janson (8th ed.).  Read this (p. 1106) before reading the articles and watching the video, then enjoy the video.

Here’s a link to the article in the Washington Post  (November 29, 2012);  be sure to watch the video of the event.

Here’s some background on the Sackler Museum and the artist…follow the links for more on the artist.

Rigoberto Gonzalez

Rigoberto Gonzalez is a contemporary Mexican artist who relies on some of the same techniques as Caravaggio, such as a striking realism and tenebrism.

The Kidnapping, 7' x 8'

His focus on violence (the violence of the Mexican drug trade) is also similar to Caravaggio’s focus on violence (the violence of martyrdom).  We can become quite uncomfortable in front of Gonzalez’s work…they are big paintings, the figures are lifesize, and we don’t want to see what’s happening (or has happened).  They allow us to understand the shock of Caravaggio’s work for his contemporary audience.  They didn’t always want to see life and death as he presented it.  When you visit Gonzalez’s site, view the short video “Baroque on the Border,” where the artist talks about his work.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Mexican Pavilion, 2nd video

Wavefunction by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, premiered at the Venice Biennale from June to November 2007. An array of chairs that move up and down electromechanically, responding to the presence of the public by creating waves that propagate over the exhibition room. Higher resolution version available at

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Mexican Pavilion

Pulse Room by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, premiered at Plataforma exhibition in Puebla, 2006, and shown at the Venice Biennale 2007. A sensor records the pulse of the public and converts it into light flashes shown by incandescent light bulbs. At any given time the room shows the heartbeat of the 100 most recent participants.

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Sam Taylor-Wood, Ukrainian Pavilion

An interview with the artist in front of her work:

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The narrative of Leda and the Swan was of particular interest during the Italian Renaissance;  a few examples follow.  Please read the comments to this post…and add you comment.

Cesare da Sesto (after Leonardo), 1505-10:


Correggio, 1531-32:


Ammanati, mid-16th c.: