I set myself the task of recording the same route
to work (Brooklyn-Manhattan) eight different
mornings from winter through spring. Each
segment was edited to exactly 60 seconds.
The linear and cylical experience of the urban
commuter lends itself to the database structure.
Will Luers, also known as Taylor Street Studios and
various projects under the name SolubleFish, has a
great history of making web video. Sometimes artists
are a little miffed when we post their older work, but
I think respecting your own history is important.
Luers’s work is no different. This piece from 2001
might seem obvious in 2008, when taping your
commute seems pedestrian (hah) and obvious.
But these vignettes – eight in total – are a lovely
reflection on repetition, routine, and subtle change.
DeK, from no fat clips!!!, recommends this piece by Michael Robinson
with sound by Bish.
It’s undeniably skilfully made & pretty though I can’t help wishing
There’s a moment, about 1:06, where we seem to be gearing up
for some visible variation in tempo & geometry but the moment
passes & the piece ends.
Nonetheless one can’t help but admire the process:
… made up of scans and pictures of branches,
broken and scratched glass, and digitally painted textures…
We’ve featured a number of pieces by Paul Kelly
in the last year, although in terms of their date of
making they stretch over some 4 years.
Looking back it seems to me there’s a very striking
sense of development.
The language and technique here is leaner, tougher
& more focussed, though without any loss of the
delight in the beauty & mystery of the everyday
that is a keynote of all the work.
As a little aside I know Paul has been making stuff
for Brittany (of this manor) & Andreas’s
Perfect piece of film making by Dan Osborne.
Interesting to compare it to the piece by him we posted
earlier this year.
There’s a lot in common, true, but what strikes me is both the
real elegance & the very precise focus of this new piece.
In contrast with the (admittedly very attractive) sprawl of
the earlier work there is not a second here that doesn’t feel
purposeful & controlled.
Interesting to see how this body of work develops.
Okay, this requires some breakdown and explanation.
So Adam Kimmel is an NYC men’s wear designer. This
video is a promo for his Spring 2009 line. And you’re
thinking, what does this have to do with video art or
conceptual cinema or animation? Right. Well, not much.
But what it does have to do with is the Internet. The way
that now, we get to see things we didn’t five years ago.
Five years ago, this video would have been shown at some
runway event that few to none of us would ever fathom
attending – not that they’d let us in the door. And I’m not
worried about that. But I am worried about not seeing great
video. And that changed.
So now, you can watch this insane video of two skater guys –
yes, in Adam Kimmel suits, that’s the point – ride down wild
hills, dodging cars, in southern California. It isn’t that this
has superior quality – the first two minutes are a little dry –
and it doesn’t say anything meaningful about the evolution
of digital video, though they did make an HD version, if that
sort of thing interests you. But you get to see it, and you
probably wouldn’t get this point of view unless you’re a
gifted skater in our midst and we had no idea. It would also
be tacky to hate on this kind of video because the skill of
skating, filming, and not wiping out is something laudable
on its own. This kind of extreme boarding? Well, it clearly
struck a chord with me. No one makes this video for a film
festival, and if they did, it wouldn’t be like this. The Internet
is the natural home for this sort of piece. I’m just saying that
I’m glad the house was built.
Video by Ari Macopoulos.