"Video is almost the same as painting...but goes one further in that the element of time is introduced and there is a director pulling your eye around the world inside the frame"
Posted on 6/23/11 by lumenfest
“Video is almost the same as painting…but goes one further in that the element of time is introduced and there is a director pulling your eye around the world inside the frame”
- In “Screen Test Ad Finitum,” viewers are invited to interact with the infinity screen… What is an infinity screen?
The infinity screen is the phenomenon of pointing a camera at a projection that is recording and transmitting a live feed straight to the projector, therefore creating an image of itself, and that becomes multiplied infinitely within itself because its continuously transmitting. So, if the camera is positioned on a tripod and zoomed to capture the edges of the projection you will see a rectangle of light within itself, disappearing at the center in its own multiplication. when people or things are in front of the camera and someone is manning the camera, it becomes a psychedelic, interactive experiment. there is also a slight delay in the feed so movements become trailed, and tilting of the camera makes it kaleidoscopic.
- Explain your project a in a little more detail, what will your performance will entail?
- What inspires your exploration into live video performance?
Early in my studies I started playing with the medium, though I never identified as a video artist. I would often juggle different media trying to figure out which was the best combination of power and realism (in the sense that the art is something tangibly real instead of a removed theatrical thing). Performance hit home strong with this because a non-theatrical piece can be a “real” ritual, and theres great interplay there when your content has to do with mythos and belief systems. Sculpture is of course very tangible and exists within your space, but usually lacks the endless limitations of what can happen on the other side of a picture frame, but with painting the viewer stuck on one side of that frame powerless to continue inside of it and explore it. Video is almost the same as painting in that respect but goes one further in that the element of time is introduced and there is a director pulling your eye around the world inside the frame. A few times I have tried to play with projection as a way to make paintings of light become tangible and blend with real space and time.
- What was the first video performance that you did?
In college I learned to edit video on an analog tape deck, which by my guess was probably one of the last courses offered in that kind of editing. In one of my projects I decided to edit the 1954 Kirk Douglass movie Ulysses. I made a cast of my head and chest, a plaster bust, and shone a projected video loop upon it of one of the conversations in the movie that cuts back and forth between various characters talking; in the movie this two-shot or three-shot as it were was filmed from the chest up, so they looked like talking busts. This was followed by a second projection that was a full length of Kirk Douglass as Ulysses tied to the mast of his ship so he could listen to the Sirens, and his crew all earplugged with wax so they would not steer the ship towards the Sirens. My loop started with the full length shot projected over me, covered in a white sheet and tied up with white nylon rope, the shot zooms all the way into his face, screaming, so as it zooms in my 3 dimensional body becomes more apparent. I guess this was some tongue in cheek play on classical sculpture and the advent of modern media being accepted as fine art.
- Do you have any inspirations or recommended viewings you’d like to share?
I’m bad at this. It’s usually things outside of the heady realm of Fine Art that inspire me.
I am just finishing up a bestseller called “How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Rise of Medieval Europe” by Thomas Cahill. Its a bright, funny, inspiring and extremely informative read that has got me wanting to follow a myriad of leads into historic literature. The human story is the best guidebook for creating the next chapter of itself. I recently went to the Met and waited an hour and a half in a line winding through the entire museum to see Alexander McQueen’s fashion retrospective. It was amazing to see up close these incredible hand made garments, elaborate costumes that come from a lurid and visual imagination. They were like shells that could be put in play by fantasy movie directors, or dumbed down and ripped off by second rate designers that would commercialize it for a populous that has no desire to match its climate. In one room I found myself mistaken that I was in a haunted Pier One Imports. Otherworldly and beautiful but offering little intellectual challenge, naturally much of my focus was on the interaction between the fawning crowds of wanting souls and the works of extravagance. I must also highly recommend going to see Punchdrunk Theater’s “Sleep No More”, an immersive (by definition) theater piece where you wander around with masks on as audience and the actors are flitting from room to room in a reinvented 100 Room hotel in Chelsea. There’s not much I can say except that it presents itself in a way I’ve always dreamed of presenting art.
- How did you get involved with LUMEN?
My work with animator Steven Lapcevic, “Clowntrodden” debuted at the first Lumen festival last year, although what we consider to be the prequel was shown at COAHSI’s first annual Ga.La event at Howland Hook Container Terminal.
I have been a big part of the art scene on Staten Island for the past few years, co-founding with Amanda Curtis the North Shore’s Second Saturday art walk, participating in group shows and attaining local grants to do original projects for audiences on Staten Island, and attracting audiences to Staten Island.
One of my most active compatriots in the scene has been Lumen’s curator, Ginger Shulick, and we’ve worked together on alot of projects in other boroughs as well as Staten Island. I also helped create the branding for Lumen when I designed the logo that’s still in use and helped engineer the former website.
- What other performances/video work will you be part of at the festival?
“Clowntrodden is an ongoing series of animated video installations involving performances by a white clad figure who becomes a three dimensional aspect of the screen, and stands in the line of fire of the figurative element of the projected animation. Conceived of and performed by Brendan Coyle, envisaged and improvised upon by Steven Lapcevic, the team of artists seek to arrive eventually at an episodic film about the degradation of society and the arrested development of modern men by generational shifts, wars, drugs, entertainment and technology; the vices of the modern era.”
- Have you any upcoming shows?
Yes indeed, I’m working on a couple more projects at the moment. I’ve been making prop sculptures for a group installation: “Inflorescence of Sparkling Evil” at A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery in the Lower East Side. I will be TRASH SHAMAN for the duration of the opening, contemplating and performing various rituals with the objects I have made for the installation. TRASH SHAMAN loosely relates to my own made up mythology about a world usurped by an amoebic lord called The Fat, in which humans are forced to live in landfills and who study alchemy in order to break free from their prison. The piece also relates to broader themes covered by the group such as fertility, waste and tribal interconnection.
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