Friday, April 11, 2014

Blog #3 - MoMI Visit - Deleta Smith

The Museum of the Moving Image is a small establishment that packs a big punch. The first thing I encountered was the .gif wall. It compiled the most popular .gifs with an explanation for each. This part of my visit was not necessarily my favorite however it reminds me how egalitarian and collective the online space is. Technology has put a global voice at everyones finger tips. The creators behind those .gifs are young and old, amateur and professional. And frankly, none can claim "ownership" of these derivatives because that’s how the internet tends to work. 

It was nice to see some of the things that I learned about in MEDP 150 and 160 materialized like the zoetrope and daguerrotype in the permanent exhibit. But most of all I enjoyed the interactive elements: I created my own voice over and worked with sound effects in the small studio spaces on the second floor. In the limited space, MoMi provides a crash course in history on things like videography, engineering, costume design, set design, special and sound effects. 

The best part of my visit was the Jim Campbell, Rhythms of Perfection exhibition. When I walked onto the third floor, I walked past what looked like a large hanging mirror. When I moved in closer, I was surprised (and quite frankly frightened out of my mind) to see not simply my reflection but a recording of my movements. While I was in awe at that station, my photograph was being taken by another installation only inches away so that by the time I reached it, my likeness appeared on all three tiny television screens. I appreciated that as a spectator I also became the subject. I was forced to look at my self as a part of the installations. I was a part of the art. 

Moving on through the exhibit, I thought I was walking through a world of digital abstractions. And this to me was the genius of Campbell’s work. As you move in closer, it seems to be nothing but interesting moving lights creating a simple fog. When you step back, the images become clear and you see video and photographs of people moving through the dark space. Each work existed as both an abstract and figurative piece, it was profound. My favorite part of the entire exhibit was The Last Day in the Beginning of March. It was such an interesting sensory experience: the dimmed spotlights that danced around the room, the sound of heavy rain, and the small plaques of words lining the walls. I felt the sorrow because I knew that the installation was about the artist’s deceased brother but I also felt comfort. I felt - maybe like Campbell’s brother during his last days - at peace.

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