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CCU Atheneum:
"New Media: Rethinking the White Cube" opens with a reception on Thursday, Jan. 13 in the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery.

'Project 35' exhibit premieres digital media

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The art this semester at Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery will truly speak to you.

That’s not a maybe. Some 30 contemporary videos will play from two rear screen projectors for the seven-week interactive exhibit “Project 35” from Jan. 13 through March 4.

It’s a first for the gallery and a medium that’s near and dear to exhibitions coordinator Rachel Harris-Beck, who earned a bachelor's degree in studio art from Coastal Carolina University, where she also completed an independent study in video performance art. “These videos will cover everything from pop culture and music to African dance performances to motivational and inspirational themes,” she says.

The collection of video shorts, ranging in length from around two minutes to 23 minutes, is a production of New York-based Independent Curators International and Project 35. ICI, in its 35th year, invited 35 curators from around the world to each choose one artist’s video they think is important for art audiences to hear, view and feel. The result is a diverse, eclectic sort of exhibition that will travel to about a dozen gallery spaces worldwide.

The project, according to ICI, not only showcases a diversity in subject matter, but in approaches that artists are taking in digital media: animation techniques, film, performance – even YouTube. “New media art, including digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art and interactive technologies are redirecting the goals of the artist, the curator and the audience alike,” says Harris-Beck.

Harris-Beck adds that exhibits like Project 35 may also spark new, interesting questions about the progression of art: “Should the value of art now be placed upon content rather than upon the objects themselves? Is understanding ‘reality’ a function of representation? What is the role of the ‘white cube’ or gallery space when new media is so easily accessible to the public?”

The video works are organized into four chapters (or discs); each chapter features eight to nine videos. Harris-Beck says she’s slimmed down the 35 total videos down to 30, due to concerns over inappropriate content. Four headsets will be available at the two screening stages.

Video selections include “Moment,” by Yukihiro Taguchi of Japan; “Uh …” by Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Phu Nam Thuc Ha of Vietnam; “Alice in Wonderland or Who is Guy Debord?” by Robert Cauble of the United States; “Little Works,” by Andrea Büttner of Germany/United Kingdom; and “The Freedom to Question,” by Daniela Paes Leao of Portugal/The Netherlands.

A screening premiere will be held at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery in the Edwards Humanities and Fine Arts Building on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 4:30 p.m. Showtimes during the remainder of the exhibit are: Discs 1 and 3 from 9 a.m. to noon and Discs 2 and 4 from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional info about ICI, Project 35 and the videos, visit www.ici-exhibitions.org/index.php/exhibitions/project_35/.

 

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