Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lee Peterson

To the 2 people that may read this other than Prof. Tosten I thank you in advance and hopefully this writing will be of some benefit to you. Looking through the gate pages of the Whitney Art port link Mr. Tosten has provided I came across this web site. It’s run by these 2 artists – M. River and T. Whid. Although all of the videos that I saw posted by them were pretty interesting, the one I recommend you check out is titled “Five small videos about interruption and disappearing.” Like the title suggests there are five videos that appear very minimally/simply made. They’ve incorporated this illusion of cooperation within the videos. I guess they want you to actually believe that your interacting… have a say in what is going to take place and yet, certain parts of the site intentionally make you wait, almost anxiously. Of course these videos are just looped and dependent on timing, but they’ll pull you in like a cat to a ball of yarn (at least they did for me). If you’re a hermit and feel like socializing these videos are for you. They kind of remind me of a more complex, mature version of that game that takes place in middle school when some wise ass would write in page 13 of a textbook “go to page 57” and on page 57 you read “go to page 264” and so on so forth. You know what’s coming next and it’s a stupid game at its core, but it does kill time and every time you come across that command to go to a certain page…you’ll do it. If you didn’t know any better you’d think the “little people on your screen” are picking on you. One thing about these artists that I liked immediately was that when you click on their link on the gate pages, this new tab opens up and you don’t know what to think. There’s the sound of a robotic orgasm in the background and the actual page in like an inch by inch tile in the corner of the monitor. I didn’t understand it at all, but that mystery and invitation for open interpretation is what kept me curious and continued my investigation of the site. The two artists’ motto is “Meaning from misunderstanding.” I doubt I interpreted the digital art in the manner which inspired the two to create the videos but I do know that it was that subtlety and not-in-your-face presentation that made me think about what it was I was viewing. I wasn’t just spoon fed some universal/generic meaning. That’s the way I believe art is meant to be - despite the intentions of the artist, the unique interpretation of the viewer is always right.

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