Night VisionJune 14–July 20, 2002 320 West 13th Street
NIGHT VISION, curated by Joy Garnett
Night Vision presents artists who are influenced by technologies developed by the military, government intelligence agencies, and NASA for use in research, surveillance and combat. The title of the exhibition is taken from the high-tech optical apparatus used in nocturnal militiary operations, whose green glow has become widely familiar. Whether by co-opting these technological advancements or by examining public perception of them, the artists in this exhibition explore the various murky implications surrounding their uses.
Jordan Crandall’s erotic and noir DVD Drive (Track 3) uses 16mm film, DV, night vision cameras, and other technologies to conflate images taken from various possible perspectives: theater audience members, a pilot on a bombing run, a lover, a victim, an attacker, an agent for Big Brother, and a lascivious Peeping Tom. Christoph Draeger’s DVD Crash shows aviation disaster statistics juxtaposed with crash test footage, newsreel documentation and Hollywood hyperbole. The accompanying soundtrack is a montage of sound effects, movie tracks, disaster footage, and music. Joy Garnett’s night vision paintings are derived from both well-circulated and obscure sources, including CNN’s coverage of the Gulf War, pilot camera images, and bomb targets as seen from remote viewing devices. Adam Hurwitz’s highly refined paintings of stealth bombers and night vision dreamscapes use television documentaries, advertisements and the Web as their sources. Bill Jones and Ben Neill’s interactive music video, Life During Wartime, combines original musical composition (Neill’s remix of the well-known Talking Heads song) with video and real-time video capture, to produce a constantly morphing multimedia piece. Disguised as an arcade game, John Klima’s The Great Game actually presents a relief map of Afghanistan beginning on October 7, 2001 and each minute advances one day, charting the advance of U.S. military forces on Taliban strongholds. The progression is based on declassified statistics on the US Department of Defense website. Joseph Nechvatal’s Virus Project 2.0 is a projection of an “artificial-life” virus unleashed on his own computer files. An unpredictable, progressive virus, it operates by degrading and transforming an image. Jonathan Podwil’s documentary-like film loops resemble artifacts, but are doctored footage shot in and around the artist’s Brooklyn studio using props like hand-painted aerial city plans and plastic toy models. Originally shot in Super8, the film is re-manipulated digitally and transferred to Quick Time, VHS or DVD, with each change of medium altering the look. In addition to the films are diminutive paintings of planes and airports. Radical Software Group (RSG) is a collective of computer artists from around the world, directed by Alex Galloway. Their first public release, Carnivore, takes data from a specified local area network and sends it via the internet to members of the artist collective who then reinterpret it in visually manipulative ways. Carnivore is inspired by DCS 1000, a piece of software used by the FBI to perform electronic wiretaps (known by the nickname “Carnivore.”)
Night Vision first opened at the University Galleries at Illinois State University, and will travel to Paris in 2003. It is accompanied by a 16 page color exhibition catalogue with essay by Tim Griffin, art editor of Time Out New York. Night Vision will run concurrently with White Room exhibitions by Meghan Gerety and Rachel Urkowitz.
About the curator: Joy Garnett is an artist and co-founder of First Pulse Projects, Inc., an art/science publishing collaborative: www.firstpulseprojects.org.
Opening Reception: Friday June 14, 7 – 9 p.m.
Summer Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 p.m.
For more information, please contact the gallery.