1. Measure of Discontent: Sigh Collector – M. Kontopolus – 2009
*images from the artists website – http://www.mkontopoulos.com/?p=586
This object measures the intangible tangible. A sigh, an emotional, release is not only measured by this machine but made quite visible. I like many things about this piece. Firstly the concept is wonderful. It taps into the human condition in a way this is fun a kitsch. The aesthetics on both the object and the accompanying video make for a light hearted work that appeals to my emotions as well as my gadget lust.
Is is useful? no, but entertaining and though provoking.
Is is scientific? I don’t really think so, I have reservations about the prescision of this instrument, which rules out any scientific usefulness.
The use of technology is is quite interesting. There is sensor reading and motor control working together to make this object function. In addition, I consider the video to be an asset of this work, and should be mentioned as an element of this work. The production of this video is wonderful and really tells the story of this work.
2. After Thought (2010) – Portable Testing Kit and Custom Video – Scott Kildall
Again, the gadget whore in me loves this piece. This work of art is disguised as a scientific instrument, and it does intact have much in common with scientific and medical technology. It utilizes an eeg sensor to read a test subjects levels of stress while being shown a series of images. During this time, the stress levels are recorded, additionally a custom video is them compiled from a bank of 200 video clips to represent the test subjects emotional status.
Art that creates art is an exciting direction I see really expanding in the digital age, and I see this piece doing that and going beyond. The human interaction, as well and the balance of the biological and technological elements are what make this work special, and more interesting than the art making machines of the 1970’s.
3. Bill Smith – Nonlinear Pendulums 2011
I have no idea what to actually say about this work, but I will say that despite me not fully comprehending the concept/motivation/technology employed here, I am drawn to this work as one might be drawn towards an ancient alien artifact. After watching the video, Im no better off in that regard. I seems as if this object is controlling video streams from outside the workshop and plotting this data as well as displaying the video.
Plainly, this work utilizes many technologies in the name of art, but plays the part of some line crossing object of obscure origination and purpose. The boundaries of the biological and technological and completely blurry as are this objects place in time and space.
I was not able to find much info on this work, and that does not bother me as much as it would with other works of art. Actually, I enjoy the idea that this work is schrouded in mystery; which forces me to be purely objective allowing to to create my own mythology and meaning.. something I always enjoy.