Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bridging Art

Integrated Vision, Time Divides, projected on the Manhattan Bridge
This weekend, the Manhattan Bridge became a moving canvas for a talented group of video artists.  For three nights, the Bridge's base in Dumbo was used as a 33,000 foot, three-dimensional projection screen.  Miraculously, video images were projected on both the exterior facade and an interior tunnel.  Standing inside the tunnel was a profoundly immersive experience, which felt a bit like being sucked inside of a hypnotic video game.  It compared favorable to the experience of seeing Pipolotti Rist's oversized video on the mezzanine of the MoMA a few years back.  The tunnel was also used to project short video projects with more conventional aspect ratios, turning this unassuming mass of bricks into an arched four-sceen theater.  The spectacle raised the bar for public art.

 A clip of Integrated Visions, Time Divides, on the bridge facade

A clip from the Integrated Visions, Time Divides, from inside the tunnel

The event was called Codex Dynamic. It was spawned by Farkas Fülüp of the Hungarian art collective, Glowing Bulbs, and two Brooklyn-based artist/curators John Ensor Parker and Leo Kuelbs.  Parker collaborated with Glowing Bulbs to produce one of the bridge-scale projections for the event, and another projection was created by the Integrated Visions collective, a New York collective, recently relocated from Georgia.  This was the second year running and, like last year, the event was presented in conjunction with the annual Dumbo Art Fair.

A clip from Glowing Bulbs and John Ensor Parker's, An Inquiring Age

Glowing Bulbs & John Ensor Parker, An Enquiring Age
The 14 conventional-format videos were created by an impressively international talent pool.  There were artists from Hungary, Holland, Finland (via Berlin), China (via Rome),  and Argentina (via Tel Aviv and Brooklyn).  And the aesthetic range was equally varied: animation, human forms, animals, and abstraction.  Highlights included Eelco Brand's undulating landscape, which might have reminded some views of the accidental art created by Apple's flawed iOS6 map app, Yi Zhou's strangely moving film of birds in flight, and a mytho-poetic Sarah Walko and Malado Baldwin collaboration pertaining to alchemy.  Though common themes were hard to identify in this work, there was a constant dialectic between the natural and the artificial.  On the organic side, there were birds, dogs, clouds, snowflakes, and flowers.  On the manufactured side, there were cogs, drills, buildings, and bricks.  Bridges, of course, are an ostentatious example of the human effort to conquer nature.  Here, artists conquered a bridge, projecting a convulsive compilation of images that left the dialectic between organic and inorganic satisfyingly unresolved.

A clip from Eelco Brand's N.Movie, 2011

Sarah Walko & Malado Baldwin, LUX/NOX
Yi Zhou, Paradise
One of the nearly thirty projectors provided by WorldStage Inc.


  1. I'm lucky I work at a web design and development perth. They send us to places and events like this to improve our artistry.

  2. As a calgary web designer I think that the pics of the canvas can be a great design on a web page. Those designs could easily attract viewers. I'd love to see a website that features these artists.

  3. Great video artists collaborating to form a group can do no wrong. The show was brilliant and it inspired me to add some of the images they projected into my pocket folders to serve as a remembrance that I was once part of a great spectacle.

    Ryan Donovan III

  4. That is a unique art made by video artists. I’ve seen lots of building video arts but this one is spectacular.

    -Natalie Furber

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