- American Sitcom
A *candy factory project
September 20 – December 5, 2014
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
American Sitcom is a new site-specific work by Takuji Kogo and Mike Bode of Candy Factory made for Pitzer College Art Galleries. A multi-channel video installation, American Sitcom uses text animations of transcriptions of monologues taken from online V-loggers’ videos that have been uploaded to YouTube. The artists’ subjects cover such disparate ground as divorce experiences, porn addiction and commentaries from people wanting to join the Air Force. These text animations have been overlaid onto animated backgrounds which have been adapted from online sources such as GIF animations, desktop designs, forum avatars, furry toys and cartoons, many of which carry references to pop art, wallpaper designs, and various forms of popular culture. The resulting work is both visually stunning and at the same time disarmingly familiar. American Sitcom asks the audience to consider how we engage with cyber culture, specifically, what kinds of online environments do we inhabit? Who are we talking to when we upload a testimonial and, what kind of visual languages do we use?
Mining the Internet for visual and domestic content, Kogo and Bode have meticulously animated transcriptions of voices—word for word—using flash-based software. Although American Sitcom employs “real” peoples’ monologues it is not a documentary work, instead it uses and re-uses everyday online media as material. American Sitcom is presented as a multi-channel installation in the gallery space and uploaded to YouTube and distributed online.
About the Artists
Japan-based artist Takuji Kogo is the organizer of Candy Factory Projects. He has produced a large body of work both as a solo artist and in various collaborations. His ongoing solo project NON_SITES is a series of photo-sculptures, digital kaleidoscopes made by looped and mirrored sequence shots taken from moments of standardized everyday life environments. He has presented his work at MediaScope-MOMA/The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Media City Seoul, South Korea; Singapore Art Museum; MAAP Multimedia Art Asian Pacific, Beijing; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; Yokohama Triennale, Japan; Nam June Paik Art Centre, Seoul, South Korea; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Takuji Kogo is the director of the Art Institute Kitakyushu, which organizes the Kitakyushu Biennial, and lives in Fukuoka, Japan.
Mike Bode is a visual artist and researcher based in Sweden. He is presently working on a research project Re-configuring actuality, which is an enquiry into the construction and configuration of material taken from online media. He is also developing a discursive platform in Stockholm with the publisher Max Valentin called PLASMODIA, which organizes talks, discussions, presentations and exhibitions with the aim of critically exploring new media and the use of new technologies and their contextualization in documentary art practice. He received a PhD at the University of Gothenburg in 2008 and has presented and exhibited work at Kunst Werke in Berlin; The Rooseum in Malmö; The Center of Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Lithuania; The Nobel Museum in Stockholm; Secession in Vienna and the Kitakyushu Biennial in Japan. He has been a member of *candy factory projects since 2001. Mike Bode is based in Stockholm.
Saturday, September 20, 2-4 p.m.
Artist lecture in conjunction with the exhibition and Pitzer College’s Munroe Center for Social Inquiry (MCSI) event:
Tuesday, September 16, 4 p.m.
Kallick Gallery, West Hall
Artists Takuji Kogo and Mike Bode will discuss their works on this year’s MCSI lecture series, themed: “Virus: Mindless, Efficient and without Morals.”
All events are free and open to the public.
Tags: Candy Factory, Fall 2014, Lenzner Gallery, Mike Bode, Past Exhibitions, Takuji Kogo, video
- Te Taniwha/Crown Coach
September 15 – December 7, 2012
New Zealand artist Joyce Campbell presents two recent series of photographic works that explore the history, mythology, and ecology of two sites: one located on Maori tribal land in New Zealand, the other a brown-field in Los Angeles. Te Taniwha explores Lake Waikaremoana, in Te Reinga—situated on Ngati Kahungunu tribe territory—and follows the quest to find two ancient snake-like water species: the Taniwha and the giant longfin eel. A place of great historical significance, where mid-nineteenth century colonial wars were fought against English occupying forces, Te Reinga remains a contested space where land, water, beach and forest rights are continually sought and fought over. In addition, Lake Waikaremoana has rich and layered mythological associations, whose fantastical sea creatures are believed to have spawned the Ngati Kahungunu tribe.
Crown Coach Botanical series, made on-site also using nineteenth century ambrotype techniques, documents the botanical specimens growing in a polluted industrial site in downtown Los Angeles known as the Crown Coach brownfield. Part of a larger series titled “LA Botanical” Joyce Campbell uses these ambrotypes to chart the needs and resources of the Los Angeles inhabitants becoming a “survival guide” of edible and medicinal plants that have grown in Los Angeles since the city’s birth. This manifestation paints Los Angeles as a field of abundant life as opposed to an industrial wasteland.
Bringing these two series of work together—Te Taniwha and Crown Coach—provides an opportunity to discuss the spiritual and symbolic connections between the two sites through the use of 19th century spiritual photographic techniques. And presents an opportunity to explore the relationship between sacred plants and traditions, land rights and access (public and private), both pertinent to Te Taniwha and Los Angeles.
Saturday, September 15, 2-4 pm
An Opening Ceremony, Powhiri (Blessing) will be performed by Maori native and historian, Richard Niania.
Thursday, September 13 at 2:45 pm at Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College
Tuesday, September 25 at 2:45 p.m.
Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Panelists include: Edgar Heap of Birds, Cheyenne Arapaho artist and professor of Native American studies and fine arts at the University of Oklahoma; Leda Martins, associate professor of anthropology, Pitzer College; Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw, editor of exposure; and artist Joyce Campbell. The panel will be moderated by Bill Anthes, associate professor of art history, Pitzer College.
Tags: Fall 2012, Joyce Campbell, Nichols Gallery, Past Exhibitions, photography, Te Taniwha/Crown Coach, video
- Babel: The Chaos of Melancholy
July 16 – September 11, 2009
Los Angeles-based Korean American artist, Kyungmi Shin will develop a site-specific installation for the Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College. Synthesizing and expanding upon many of the formal and conceptual themes explored in her recent projects, this solo exhibition is Shin’s most ambitious work to date.
Babel: The Chaos of Melancholy takes its name from a quotation cited in Robert Burton’s infamous work, the Anatomy of Melancholy (1621). Written to combat the debilitating effects of depression, Burton compares the “confusion of tongues”—in the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel—with the eviscerating effects of melancholy. Taking Burton’s quotation as her starting point, Shin’s creates a sprawling, vertiginous installation reaching from the second floor mezzanine to the gallery floor below. Comprised of scrap metals, recycled plastic, discarded building materials, trash, photo collage and glass, the 25 foot high installation faces a large-scale projection on the opposing wall. Featuring video footage from Dubai juxtaposed with clips from a shantytown near Shin’s studio home in Ghana, the work raises challenging issues about class, race, economics and global politics. Furthermore, Shin’s recycled and scrap materials collaged together references the make-shift and impoverished shantytowns ubiquitous in certain parts of the world and contrasts them with the wealth displayed in ‘uber’ rich communities elsewhere.
Tags: Babel, Kyungmi Shin, multi-media, Nichols Gallery, Past Exhibitions, photography, Summer 2009, video
- Narrowcast: Reframing Global Video 1986/2008
September 25 – November 23, 2008
Pitzer College Art Galleries
Lynn Blumenthal, Juan Downey, Antonio Muntadas, Marshall Reese, Michael Smith, Bill Viola, Natalie Bookchin, Mark Boulos, Regina Jose Galindo, Pablo Pijnappel, Artur Zmijewski
Curated by Ciara Ennis and Ming-Yuen S. Ma as part of Resolution 3: Video Praxis in Global Spaces
Pitzer Art Galleries & LACE present Narrowcast: Reframing Global Video 1986/2008 curated by Pitzer Art Galleries Director/Curator Ciara Ennis and Associate Professor of Media Studies Ming-Yuen S. Ma. The exhibition is part of Resolution 3, a collaboration between Pitzer College’s Media Studies program, Pitzer Art Galleries and LACE on the occasion of LACE’s thirtieth anniversary.
Narrowcast re-presents selected works from LACE’s seminal 1986 video exhibition Resolution: A Critique of Video Art and pairs them in compelling and unexpected ways with contemporary works, thus framing the medium’s brief history both formally and thematically. Resolution was one of the first exhibitions in the United States to embrace video as a serious art form and to discuss it in critical terms. Revisiting Resolution in relation to a number of exceptional contemporary video works demonstrates the influence that video art has had on artistic practice over the past two decades and testifies to the pivotal role and ubiquitous presence that the medium has in the contemporary global art world.
The ten selected artists in Narrowcast—five historical: Lyn Blumenthal, Juan Downey, Antonio Muntadas in collaboration with Marshall Reese, Michael Smith, Bill Viola and five contemporary: Natalie Bookchin, Mark Boulos, Regina José Galindo, Pablo Pijnappel, Artur Zmijewski—re-present Resolution in a way that emphasizes resonance and precedence rather than a comprehensive survey. And while the selected works, one from each artist, do not fit into neat categories, Curators Ennis and Ma have found historically significant connections that highlight the multi-layered and fragmented narratives inherent in both the archival and contemporary works.
Separated into five loose categories—embroidered narratives, autobiographical confessionals, restaging histories, documentary and reportage, trance and ritual—the works in Narrowcast reframe content as well as formal strategies that are as relevant in 1986 as it is now, thereby reflecting the range and inventiveness of the non-traditional narrative structures central to these artist’s works.
Tags: Antonio Muntadas, Artur Zmijewski, Bill Viola, collaboration, Fall 2008, Juan Downey, LACE, Lenzner Gallery, Lynn Blumenthal, Mark Boulos, Marshall Reese, Michael Smith, Narrowcast, Natalie Bookchin, Nichols Gallery, Pablo Pijnappel, Past Exhibitions, Regina Jose Galindo, Resolution 3, video