Tony Oursler, Wavefront, 2001 (detail). Sony DPL CS2 projector, DVD player, DVD, Metal, plexiglas. 89 1/2 x 79 x 67 1/2 inches + equipment. Jim Campbell, Ambiguous Icon (Running, Falling), 2000. custom electronics, 768 LEDs, 28" x 22". Peter Rose, Pneumenon, 2003 (detail). Video and sound installation with fabric screen and fan, Installation dimensions vary, fabric screen approximately 135 x 102 inches. Running time: 5 minutes Nadia Hironaka, My Stars, two-channel video installation, wall mural, mirrored kaleidoscopes, 5:30 minutes.
Tony Oursler, Wavefront, 2001 (detail). Sony DPL CS2 projector, DVD player, DVD, Metal, plexiglas. 89 1/2 x 79 x 67 1/2 inches + equipment.
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Jim Campbell, Ambiguous Icon (Running, Falling), 2000. custom electronics, 768 LEDs, 28" x 22".
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Peter Rose, Pneumenon, 2003 (detail). Video and sound installation with fabric screen and fan, Installation dimensions vary, fabric screen approximately 135 x 102 inches. Running time: 5 minutes
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Nadia Hironaka, My Starstwo-channel video installation, wall mural, mirrored kaleidoscopes, 5:30 minutes.
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Surface Tension

August 22, 2003–November 14, 2003

Performance and Reception:
Reception
Friday, September 5, 2003
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
 
LURE Event
Friday, September 5, 2003
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 

Surface Tension explores the diverse ways contemporary video artists experiment with the projected images. Artists featured in the exhibition question the traditional notion of the screen as a flat, static surface by projecting images onto unusual materials such as kaleidoscopes and wind-blown fabric. Featured artists include Tony Oursler, Nicole Cohen, Jim Campbell, Camille Utterback, Nadia Hironaka, LURE and Peter Rose, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum.

“The works in Surface Tension reveal an underlying tension in our everyday perception of images by exploring the disjunction between the screen as a site of representation and, alternately, as a mode of communication.”
–Cassandra Coblentz, Curator and Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative Curatorial Fellow

The tenuous relationship between image and screen is revealed through a diverse range of techniques. Featured works, such as Tony Oursler’s Wavefront, 2001, focus on the material of the screen itself, projecting images onto fluid or fragmented surfaces that render imagery elusive or untenable. Other works, such as Jim Campbell’s Ambiguous Icon (Running, Falling), 2000, focus specifically on the technology of viewing a moving digital image on a screen, reducing images to elemental color and light and exploring the pixel on a formal level.

FWM has a history of working with video artists such as Bill Viola and Doug Aitken, artists known for experimentation with the screen as a projection surface. In keeping with this history, Sulface Tension features a new work by Artist-in-Residence Peter Rose, whose work, like Viola’s and Aitken’s, employs an innovative approach to the material of the screen in order to challenge our perception of the moving image. Rose often creates imagery that is fleeting; he uses light, shadows and digital manipulation to deconstruct language and the act of seeing. Rose’s new video installation utilizes multiple spatial layers, provoking viewers to question the boundaries of the projected images. His screen is a fluid form that momentarily provides a surface to read the image. While his imagery in this new work conjures ideas of concrete representation, it also portrays the moving image as elusive.

This Curatorial Fellowship is a project of the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, a program funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. In-kind donations for the exhibition Surface Tension were generously made by Zero Defect Design and Xochi Media Inc.