Published: Jan 23, 2007
By Robin Roger
When Electronics Alive IV emerged from its cocoon on Jan. 22, it seemed more alive than ever.
bigger and better,” said Dorothy Cowden, director of the
Scarfone/Hartley Gallery on The University of Tampa campus. “We try to
add more every year.”
The biennial invitational art exhibit
features more interactive, multimedia and animated pieces, including One
Rat Short, which won best in show at the 2006 SIGGRAPH Computer
Animation Festival in Boston. More than 25 monitors fill the
Scarfone/Hartley Gallery with light and motion, while two-dimensional
digital works hang from the walls.
Cowden and art professors Lew
Harris, Doug Sutherland and Santiago Echeverry chose the pieces from
work shown at SIGGRAPH. The pieces come from countries as far away as
Japan, South Korea and Iran.
“This is a digital world and a
global world,” said, Echeverry, who teaches advanced digital arts at UT.
“Our main goal was to bring videos from all over the world. This only
happens once every two years, so we had to bring something special to
Echeverry’s own piece, “World,” is on display, and it
includes 210 short videos recorded all over the world with his cell
phone. The clips show bits of his personal experience: scenes from a
night club in Bogotá, his nephew dancing, friends toasting champagne, a
mosque in Istanbul.
These images appear as tiles in a mosaic,
and viewers can enlarge them by moving the mouse over them, and change
them by clicking on each one. As a new 10-second video loads, a
different audio clip plays on the speaker.
“It’s all about interactivity,” Echeverry said. “You end up creating your own story.”
mixed media installation by assistant professor Sutherland shows a
collage of images surrounding an altered self-portrait.The mouth of the
self-portrait contains a small video screen, which shows video of him
talking about his inspirations for the piece.
The images in the
background depict scenes of evil from paintings by European painters.
The piece was inspired by pictures of Satan painted by Gustav Doré to
illustrate John Milton’s Paradise Lost and scenes of evil from Matthias
Grünewald’s Temptation of St. Anthony. One exhibition piece from Japan
features a magnetic liquid that moves as it’s affected by the fields
Another piece shows text from spam e-mail messages,
such as ads for watch replicas, Canadian drugs and Hoodia, a diet pill.
“Sick of the social stigmata of being overweight?” the spam asks.
Printouts of the messages hang from the ceiling like long strands of
Short films run continuously in a viewing room beside
the gallery. One Rat Short appears on a plasma screen at the front of
the gallery. It follows a New York City rat, from the dark, dirty
streets to a fluorescent lit lab. The film’s director, Alex Weil, speaks
at the gallery at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
On Friday, Feb. 9,
from 7 to 9 p.m., Harris and music professor Terry Mohn give a
performance of digital art and music. A reception follows.
speakers are Teri Rueb of the Rhode Island School of Design, Kevin
Scolaro from the Tampa-based Tri-Dimensional Animation Studios, Alan
Price, director of the interactive real-time animation Tartatus and
Bruce Wands of the New York School of Visual Arts.
discuss his new book, “Art of the Digital Age,” an illustrated survey of
digital art featuring more than 100 artists from around the world. He
will also talk about his new motion painting series, the Buddha Light
Dance, based on the ancient sacred geometry of Buddhist art. This is his
second time speaking at Electronics Alive.
“One of the
appealing aspects of the exhibition is the international nature of the
art,” he said. “Digital art is different, in that it is developing on a
global level, rather than the way traditional movements in art did,
which were localized, such as the 19th century Hudson River school of
landscape painting or the French impressionists. The Internet has been
an important component in the development of global culture and art
created with computers and technology.”
Electronics Alive IV runs through Thursday, Feb. 22. For full schedule, click here.