The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Hybrid Media elucidates future artistic avenues

If you enter the Faulconer Gallery, you will find yourself immersed in the future of art, an organic blend of traditional artistic techniquespaired with the limitless possibilities that technology can lend us. The show, now open from April 9, to June 6, is called Hybrid Media, and it showcases the work of Matthew Kluber, Art, and John F. Simons, Jr, circuit-bender.
Matthew Kluber’s work has appeared all around the world, from the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai to the Portland Museum of Art. Equally as accomplished, Simons’ works have appeared at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial and the University of Iowa’s Museum of Art.
Both artists are hard to label as they both incorporate several different mediums to their work. “Artists, have always been thrilled by new tools and it makes sense that someone would integrate new media into old forms of art forms, like paintings and sculpture,” said Tilly Woodward, Gallery Director.
On Monday, Kluber gave a lecture at 4:15 in Faulconer explaining the unique process of his work. He begins by making a minimalist painting, usually with several stirring rectangles of color. Then he chooses a video, whether it be the work of a German filmmaker like Lutz Mommartz and his dancing girl or one of Kluber’s daughter wading in a pool.
Kluber then uses his custom software to project these videos onto several pieces of aluminum. As a result several layers are conjoined with the original painting to make one creation. The digital projection runs for two- to three-minute cycles and then fades away leaving only the color from the painting, until it slowly starts up again. This culminates in a very intense, very hybrid form of art that exemplifies how far technology and innovation have come.
This unusual spectacle is the effect of light, which the combination of the two different mediums creates. “The relationship between light is inspiring, the way that the light bounces back and it plays with the viewers’ eyes is fantastic,” Woodward said.
One piece that fully showcases this effect is the mesmerizing No Place Like Utopia, with its pink, black and green eggs and its yellow and pink background, which makes one feel like they ‘are stepping inside Alice’s Wonderland. Half-Day Closing also has an unforgettable pattern of different rectangles involving colors that make one feel like jumping right inside the world of this enticing work.
In his lecture, Kluber discussed how amazed he is by the way an artist now has the capability to project the same video onto a scale as small as 4 by 7 inches and as large as 30 by 40 foot side of a building. This versatility is something he has used inhis own work, when he projected the video of his daughter wading in a swimming pool on the side of the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan.
John F. Simons’ work also projects an amalgamated web of mediums and an uncanny sense of freedom. The explanation for his work speaks to its true innovation, “A monitor is part of the surface of my pieces, but are viewed as a painting,” Simons said. “The images in the software never repeat so the pieces are endlessly unique.”
One of his pieces, Chip, has several cream colored lines that bring the viewer’s eye to the center where a futuristic display shows at its core a blue ball with crystals protruding out of it. Another piece that really catches one’s eye is Crown, which is a combination of yellow blocks concealing an entire world of red and white with various images, and on the right and left a green computer window projects constantly-moving geometric shapes.
Simons is not really sure what to call his work, although he references the work of Tom Wesselmann who made paintings with TVs in the ‘60s as a source of inspiration. “This work could be called Digital Art, Software Art, Hybrid Media, Mixed Media, or Assemblage and probably a lot more,” Simons said. Both Simons and Kluber seemed to agree that their greatest hope is that through each of their works, the viewer can feel a sense of limitless freedom for the future of art. “I think it’s a really exciting time with all the possibilities that technology allows for artists, and for me I feel like it has allowed me to really find my niche,” Kluber said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *