Saturday, August 28, 2010

Exhibiting Artist : Brett Swenson

The moving image of a face is projected onto a glass cast of the same face that is seated on a rotating pedestal. The viewer is able to turn this pedestal, thereby creating optical distortions of the digital projection. As the cast is turned, ghostly reflections of the mutated face travel along the walls, its eyes constantly moving, looking around at its environment, and often times making eye contact with the viewer.

The projection of one's self-image onto a copy of that image only to be confronted with a non-ideal, problematic or different one is a notion several post-glass video artists seem attracted to. In Dreamcast, the mirror, i.e the static object that receives one's self-image, is a three-dimensional casting, fixed in both contour and time. But the image that falls upon it, i.e. digital video from the projector, changes. Since the designated "mirror" is not reflective, no image bounces back. Instead, it is subject to distortions due to transmission of light through the clear glass cast. The evolving image of a human is trapped and mutating within his static, ideal portrait. In a disturbing encounter with a floating face, as it meets ones's eye occasionally, the mirror acts as a lens.

In this way, Swenson's work demonstrates a recurring area of interest, to be discussed later in this blog, as it emerges from several post-glass works : perceptual shifts using the materiality and metaphor of the mirror.

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