March 16, 2004

Video replaces Paintings !?

Souvenirs from the earth for Mix, image: souvenirsfromtheearth.com
Don't tell the Whitney Biennial folks. That trademarked slogan comes from a series of video loops designed for your giant flatscreen TV that are "100% narrative free with strong visual aesthetics" called Souvenirs from the earth [Ahem. A series called Souvenir? I hope you kept the number of that trademark lawyer...]

You can buy their DVD for $50 from Dynomighty, on east 10th st, or, like Alain Ducasse did for Mix, you can commission a custom version. They're also planning "complete never seen night programmes to TV stations, financed by sponsors from the luxury industry."

Goodlooking execution? Yes. Growth market? Definitely. But new idea? Not at all. The duo's dsytopian main mission sounds familiar: "Our main mission is to collect pictures of life on earth today, in case humans would need them later..." It's the glass-half-full, luxury industry-chasing version of "Life out of balance," the subtitle/translation of Godfrey Reggio's 100% narrative free classic Koyaanisqatsi.

[Coincidentally, the last time I saw Koyaanisqatsi, it was wall candy on a flatscreen for a party in a bigtime art collector's Central Park West apartment. It had a bigger audience than anything else, and at $25, it was easily the cheapest work there, by a factor of several thousand.]

Morgan Stanley architecture signage video, image:insidemint.com
And on the custom corporate front, I'm reminded of the wraparound montage for the LED facade of 745 Seventh Avenue, produced in 2001 by branding consultancy The Mint Group for Morgan Stanley. This Times Square video "took brand-building...to the next level," and communicated Morgan Stanley's unique ability in the financial services industry to "connect investors, ideas and capital." Of course, in one weekend after Sept. 11, before ever occupying it, MS sold the building to Lehman Brothers, who stepped right into this unique, branded video skin without batting an eye.

Another wall candy video option: "Want to throw a great party? Put this on!"FunviewTV's 20-scene DVD includes a fish tank, a fireplace, falling snow, falling leaves, disco lights, and a microwaving pizza.

And just to loop the Whitney back in: there's new-to-you Biennial star Eve Sussman's debut video show in 1997. The artist labored for nearly a month to construct a 3-story scaffold/ramp in an airshaft, and then trained video cameras on the pigeon nests hidden within. Wall sized projections of oblivious pigeons filled the gallery. Congratulations, Eve, on your overnight success.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: March 16, 2004.

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