The masking in that work is like the calm eye of the storm. I cant tell actually though if its negative or positive space I'm looking at. It seems to get back to matter, matter circulating and assuming certain patterns. I like those central marks behaving like lens glare. It reminds me of footage from Joseph Kittinger's leap from the edge of the earth's atmosphere. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=1n2AICdVv3g) Apparently he wrote a book about it but its sort of like what can you even put in that book.
On TV-- its affected our behaviors, and for sure our metaphors for experience. Maybe it depends where we're looking to find this in art. There's Nam June Paik. I saw that piece of his at the national gallery earlier this spring, with the wall of televisions. I remember watching these two young kids looking at it too and thinking whats this like for them? Really loses its criticality to a viewer whose own experience may be so genuinely akin to the feel of it. But what about painting and drawing. Illusionistic work and television do overlap, theyre all about surface. Hi-def technology pushes that envelope further and further, that envelope where you know the difference between whats real and what isnt. Hi-res TV's make you feel like youd been near blind your whole life and you didnt know it.
Technologies of optics (art status regardless)--Giotto, one point perspective, the eye glass lens, still photography, digital photography, camera phones, the new microsoft coffee table that is also an interactive media space-- though seemingly differentiated, seem to grow from the same objective-- bringing ourselves closer to some idea of real. When I looked at Zak's babies, that was what they were about for me too, but in a way that is about genuine intimacy.
Ive been visiting at my mother's, a place that is all about TV. Right now the soundtrack in the house, besides the fridge, is Larry King. No one, clearly, is in the room with the TV at the moment.
TV watching flips in and out of states of focus and distraction. When I pointed out that Paris Hilton has been the sole subject of discussion on CNN for the past twenty minutes, mom reminded me of that point. "We all need our distractions" is what she said.
And then there is the way that the watching replaces being outside (back to mirror neurons!) Bringing the outside inside. Sitting outside watching TV makes no sense. I cant think of why that would ever happen. I guess thats whats going on in Tom's piece is that the outside is the outside brought inside (yikes). The TVs are also hyper materialized, we are much more aware of their physicality as objects or furniture and not just their contents. Maybe that is what is hard about using TVs in the work. There is the object and then the experience of tv, and it is hard to capture that. You make a really good point Susan about it boiling down to light. I just remembered seeing thesis work this year, paintings on the first floor of the main of children in interiors. One had a lot of blue light I think, projected light, on the faces of children, so that the tv is central to the scene though not directly in view, only its effects. Maybe others know which paintings I mean.
I think I'll stop there for now, but hello blog! Hope all is well with everyone. Looking forward to future conversations.