The potential to wear moving-image artworks on your wrist is now a reality. Inspired by the concepts of wearable art and screens, artist-curator Aram Bartholl has merged the two—with the help of 12 top contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei and Oliver Laric—in “Full Screen,” a new exhibition at xpo gallery in Paris. A moving-image artist in his own right, Bartholl creates work that explores the intersection of technology, media, and everyday life, exploring questions like “How do digital innovations influence our everyday actions?”
This latest venture, where he’s assumed the role of curator, comes to fruition through moving-image works from leading international artists, which are meant to play on Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches. Recognizing that the screen—a constant in moving-image art from Nam June Paik’s stacks of TV sets to Ken Okiishi’s gesture/data paintings on flatscreens—will ultimately become obsolete, Bartholl sought to celebrate its recent developments, creating a vibrant interplay of scale and resolution between the high-tech watches, which hang from strings on one of the gallery’s walls, and a low-resolution, 10-meter-long LED screen, which plays all of the works on loop nearby. With each watch comes a miniature visual gem to discover, running the gamut of web-based media and digital animations. We offer a few highlights below.
Ai Weiwei, Dumbass, 2013, video, 05:13 min.
Drawn to Ai Weiwei’s active online presence and Twitter account, Bartholl invited the dissident artist to participate, recognizing that “there are few really famous artists who really use the Internet.” His wearable work plays the YouTube music video he created about his 2011 detention by the Chinese government, including music and lyrics.
Oliver Laric, Nymph Untying Her Sandal, 2013, animated gif, 320 x 320px, loop.
Laric’s piece, a revolving rendering of a classical sculpture, comes from his 2012 Lincoln 3D Scans project, for which he created digital scans of sculptures from the the Collection Museum in Lincoln, England, and published the data online.
Petra Cortright, buggin out, 2013, video, 02:03 min.
Initially garnering attention for her two-minute webcam videos in which she puts on a signature SoCal persona, Cortright has been named a descendant of “the moving-image work of Alex Bag and Pipilotti Rist.” In buggin out, she repeatedly puts on and takes off a pair of sunglasses, each time revealing that her eyes have grown larger.
Vincent Broquaire, Minute after minute (2014), video, 01:00 min.
Twenty-something artist Vincent Broquaire creates hand-drawn animations that excel through simple, refined imagery. In Minute after minute, the screen gradually fills up like sand flowing into an hourglass, playing with perceptions of figure and ground, negative and positive space.
“Full Screen” is on view at xpo gallery, Paris, Mar. 10th–Apr. 9th, 2014.