Moving image has vastly become a popular option for media artists to evoke their work from a video instillation perspective. This allows the artist to portray their contextual framework and ideologies from a visual perspective, which connects with the audience on a simplistic level, as most works that utilise moving image are a manifestation of everyday life. Moving image also allows the viewer to delve into a surreal and rather theatrical realm.
A prime media artist that utilises moving image in their work is German artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt. Rosefeldt has resided and worked in Berlin since 1999, where he relocated himself there as ‘Artist in Residence at the Sammlung Hoffman’. He derives his inspirations from art, films and pop-culture ideologies and history (Julian Rosefeldt 2015). He uses these fusions of inspirations as a basis to his artworks, in which he creates very intricate, complex and enticing experiences for his audience. Rosefeldt’s moving images primarily comprise of very elaborate and visually vivid and stimulating film and video instillations. In most of Rosefeldt’s works, his instillations are shown as panoramic multi-channel projections. In most cases, these panoramic multi-channel projections are curved which display images on large screens at the exhibits. Rosefeldt’s work ranges in style in each of his works, some may appear to be in the style of a documentary and some in the form of a narrative (Julian Rosefeldt 2015). His works are quite often displayed simultaneously onto several different screens. He uses an amalgamation of cinematic devices to fuse dislocation, alienation and psychological and social distraction. His works are most of the time ambiguous, however he utilises humor and satirical elements to entice his audience with a familiar surrounding that is turned into something illusive, eccentric and peculiar. Within his filmmaking, Rosefeldt precisely uses 16-mm and 35-mm film, in which he often films with cinematographer Christoph Krauss (Julian Rosefeldt 2015). A prime example of his work that elucidates his work within moving image, is his film– Manifesto (2015), starring Cate Blanchett. Manifesto, as described by Rosefeldt, is “an homage to the beauty of artists’ manifestos – a manifesto of manifestos.” (Art Gallery of NSW2016). In essence, Manifesto questions the role of an artist in contemporary society and essentially pays tribute to artists that have gone, that are current and that will come in the future. Rosefeldt states that Manifesto is an amalgamation of all ‘visual artists, filmmakers, writers, performers, or architects’. Contextual framework acts as a very important catalyst to evoke the moving images in his work, as he contrasts how the current modern art scene is a bustling business with a thriving global network; used as a vice of expression, comparing it to the small art scene of writers from the last century (Art Gallery of NSW2016). Rosefeldt uses moving image in a way to distort the audiences’ world. The audience begin their journey through entering the first dark room of “manifesto” in which they are introduced to the concepts and themes of the artwork. By visually looking at the work, the audience is able to align their perspective with the artist’s envisagement.
Moreover, artist and Academy-Award winning filmmaker Laura Poitras has recently unveiled her first solo exhibition, titled ‘Astro Noise’, where she has created an interwoven installation series based around mass surveillance in a post 9/11 society. Poitras is a prime example of a media artist utilising moving image to invoke a raw and vivid response from the audience that is told from her perspective that questions the viewer. When first viewing “Astro Noise”, the audience is immediately confronted with anguished images of men, women and children reacting to the September 11 attacks (The Atlantic 2016). Poitras has carefully chosen images that capture the essence of the emotional damage that comes with terrorism. Thus, Poitras has chosen moving images as her medium to evoke an authentic perspective of the issue to her audience. Astro Noise is currently exhibited at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, which contextually fits with Poitras’ objective as she explores mass surveillance, the ethics surrounding drones and war torture (The Atlantic 2016). Furthermore, Astro Noise combines media reports and documentary fragments to unveil her message to the audience – that being the crippling effects of terrorism and the conspiracy behind 9/11 (The Atlantic 2016). Poitras extends the boundaries of media art portrayal as she blurs the distinction between the victims and terrorists in the moving images; Astro Noise is a piece that asks the audience to identify and challenge the notion of observation, as the U.S is a surveillance state. This then leaves the viewer questioning – is the surveillance actually authorized? Is it submissive or accidental? The most emotionally stimulating aspect of Astro Noise is the final aspect to the film, where the viewer is faced with footage of others watching Astro Noise in another room (The Atlantic 2016). Thus, Poitras cleverly evokes her message to the audience, that they are being watched and are also watching others, just as the U.S is currently doing with the entire nation. Poitras’ use of media art in this exhibition is used to stimulate a questioning response from the audience, which Is executed through the use of moving distressed images, and video surveillance footage of one another, studying the relationship between ones liberties and overall U.S security.
Additionally, another media artist that employs moving images as a pivotal piece to their work is Bolivian artist – Sonia Falcone. Falcone expresses ideas of hope and healing with her art, and combines painting with video instillations to really convey her spiritual contextual framework of her work. Falcone’s expression with her moving images can be defined as pure and enlightening, as opposed to many other exhibitions that express ominous or dismal themes (Widewalls 2016). Falcone’s pivotal objective with her moving images, is to converge the creative energy that she was feeling in the production of the art, to then be felt by the viewers themselves, as if she has built a bridge between the two. In Falcone’s most notable art instillation, Windows of the Soul, Falcone has used her spiritual intuition as a vessel to express a pivotal message to her audience (Widewalls 2016). The instillation was exhibited at the XVII Bienal de Arte de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Widewalls 2016). Falcone presented her moving images on thin blocks that were constructed and displayed in an un-even manner. The moving images projected on these blocks were various video fragments that were vividly colorful, bright and short – each signifying varying aspects of her own personal life and spirituality (Widewalls 2016). Combining synthetic and natural organic scenery to her moving images, Falcone elucidated the significance of having the union of both these elements in our life. Falcone highlights the beauty of life within her moving images, as she shares aspects of her life contrasted over colorful hues to convey her objective of life’s blessings that occurs from the moment we are conceived (Widewalls 2016). Falcone’s positive message of hope leaves the audience feeling a sense of refreshment and optimism for an enhanced future. The exhibition and moving images acted as a stream of consciousness, as the audience could connect with Falcone on a spiritual level and become one with her energy.
To conclude, moving image has become a popular vessel to convey themes, theories and conceptual frameworks within media arts. The above artists have utilised moving images in various ways, however each circum to their overall objective of utlising moving image to obtain vivid audience responses, that has developed the moving image medium as a popular option for conveying artwork within modern media art.
- com. (2016). Julian Rosefeldt. [online] Available at: http://www.julianrosefeldt.com [Accessed 20th
- nsw.gov.au. (2016). Manifesto :: Art Gallery NSW. [online] Available at: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/manifesto/ [Accessed 20th Oct. 2016].
- (2016). Sonia Falcone. [online] Available at: http://www.widewalls.ch/artist/sonia-falcone/ [Accessed 20th Oct. 2016].
- The Atlantic. (2016). Surveillance, Drone Strikes, and Torture: A New Exhibit at the Whitney. [online] Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/02/laura-poitras-whitney-surveillance/460359/ [Accessed 20th Oct. 2016].