A fundraiser for Expressive Media Express


August 14th, 2009

Screen Grab, a new series curated by jonCates and Nicholas O’Brien for The Nightingale, aims to bring New Media Art to experimental cinema audiences. The Screen Grab series considers Web-based Digital Art through the lens of cinema. By moving New Media Art works from their native singular computer screens into a collective viewing experience, Screen Grab invites open dialogs.

Some works in this program need little help with this process. Oliver Laric’s Versions, for instance, is as much a nod towards Chris Marker as it to 4chan (a message board that serves as a meme breeding ground). Travess Smalley’s Liquify can certainly be connected to durational films without much hesitation, not to mention its direct like with psychedelic cinema of the 60s and 70s; Photoshop is the new overhead projector. Petra Cortright’s Dragon_Ball_P also fuses the psychedelic with technological. In utilizing the campy preset effects of webcam software, Cortright creates a lo-fi dance that seems like a Skype ritual ceremony. Dennis Knopf’s Office Party borrows from flicker films and the superimposition that occurs through the use of this cinema device. However, Knopf’s work shows what was once sensational (i.e. Paul Sherit’s T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G), might have become bland (corporate office portraits). Guthrie Lenrgan’s 3 Notes, on the other hand, references the emerging hybridity that is found in digital environments. The youtube collage of sound in this piece exemplifies the subtle juxtapositions that can occur through online communities. Likewise, Rick Silva (releasing previous projects under the pseudonym Abe Linkoln) uses glitch aesthetics in AntlersWifi to contemplate the abundance of blog culture. He uses these spaces as a medium for calculated data dumping, noise compacting, and saturation zones where he crafts a new cinema dialog of image corruption and sonic dissonance.

Screen Grab.1 as well as being the inaugural show for the series, will also raise funds for an upcoming collaborative project called Expressive Media Express that will occur during Chicago Artists Month in October. This initiative is designed to encourage creative use of digital tools and simultaneously showcase Chicago’s energetic New Media community to youth in the city. By creating a weekend-long interactive slate of programs – including workshops, a screening, and a historical timeline installation of Digital Media Arts in Chicago and abroad – organizers jonCates, Christy LeMaster, and Nicholas O’Brien hope to provide software and hardware skills that put the basic tools of digital media in the hands of kids at an early stage and reposition the conversation away from technophobic fear and into playful discovery.

Petra Cortright
Dennis Knopf
Oliver Laric
Guthrie Lonergan
Travess Smalley
Rick Silva

Filed under: new media