Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
A Global Glimpse of 3D Stereo Works by Contemporary Artists
March 19 - May 3, 2013
List of Works in the Exhibition
Ray Traced (Anaglyph version) 2013,
HD video, projector, media player, mirrors, 16:9, dimensions variable, silent, 6 min loop
First lobby area
Untitled (Golden Path) 2013
Autostereoscopic screen, computer, sound. 2.30 loop
Live Internet feed, computer, images rendered in 2.5D (3d space)
Silent endless duration
(clockwise from entrance)
Summer Blockbuster (4 Phantograms) 2013
8 color digital prints and anaglyph viewing glasses
G-Force (Solid) G-Force (Particle) 2013
Double sided-screen 16:9, HD video, 2 projectors, media players, stereo sound, 3 min loop
Middle area (right to left galleries)
UYUYUYUI (Anaglyph version) 2013,
HD video, projector, media player, 16:9, dimensions variable, silent, 6 min loop
Le Phénomène Atmosphérique, 2011,
Ina Conradi Chavez
Flatscreen TV, computer, 3D-Vip Trancoder box, RF shutter glasses, HD video, stereo sound 8 min loop
Zerynthia (anaglyph version) 2013
John Adamczyk (J-Walt)
HD video, projector, media player, dimensions variable, stereo sound, 7 min loop
Large Back Gallery (to the far right)
HD video, 16:9, dimensions variable, stereo sound. 4’55” loop
Space Invaders, 2008,
Five flatscreen tvs, five media players, SD video, synch sound, 2 min loop
Small Back Gallery (to the far left)
HD stereoscopic video, synch sound, stereo, 3 min loop.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space: A Global Glimpse of 3D Artworks by Contemporary Artists explores the use of 3D stereo amongst painters, sculptors, video and digital artists. Rather than using the form to tell stories (ala Hollywood), most of these artists are using 3D technologies to explore some of the ideas that have plagued artists for centuries--how to convey "real" notions of space and time in a "captured' work, and how those in turn relate to formal concerns and art practices in general.
The title is taken from the third studio album by the British band Spiritualized, which itself was taken from the philosophical novel, Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. In that book, Gaarder portrays a philosopher who tries in vain to convey certain truths to an apathetic audience—an audience much more interested in pleasure and banalities. Yet for Spiritualized, the phrase doubles as a metaphor for the space that can be created by sound, and how that space can lead to a kind of transcendence.
Such ideas subsequently dovetail with the exhibition in a number of ways, but mostly in the way in landscape traditions have been so intimately linked to our notions of ‘reality’. Virtually all of the artists in the show are using the basic building blocks of picture making in their work, such as the rectilinear grid and parametric formulas, but they are using them to create, or at least refer to, invented landscapes of some sort. (The term “landscape” was invented to describe an artistic pictorial scene). However, by using 3D technologies these artists are also allowing the medium to reveal itself for what it really is: a mental construction that is determined entirely through light, pattern and illusion.
The show begins with two works that require no viewing glasses: Untitled (Golden Path) by Joe Merrell, which is played on a glasses-free autostereo display screen, and Addressability (2012) by the Paris based artist Jeff Guess. The former creates an invented landscape where the camera continually hovers over a cityscape while stopping at key points to reveal and conflate such things as Aristotle’s Golden Mean and the Buddha’s Golden Path. Thus ancient Greece and architecture are invoked at the very beginning. Guess’s Addressability by contrast, is displayed on a floating projection screen, which features a never-ending stream of news images pulled from the internet in real time. Each image is set adrift in a virtual 3D space and transformed into pure pixel information. Thus Guess celebrates the pixel in the way that Pop artists celebrated ben-day dots, where each image explodes into stars and then conform again into a never-ending parade of photographic images—or information. Here the dimensionality of cyberspace, memes and the ionosphere are realized as forms.
Both, Candas Sisman of Turkey and AEAEAEAE of Norway, are exploring the idea of picture building via the use of Euclidian, geometric forms, which are the basis for all architectural—and by extension, landscape—traditions. Collapsing (2013), by Sisman, uses both sides of a hanging screen to create a projection object that moves with the viewer as he or she moves around and through the piece. In the process he uses the “depth” created by the 3D pace to literally “pull in” the viewer into a fictive space. Similarly, Ray Traced (2013) by AEAEAEAE creates a continually folding space that begins as pure triangular forms, but ends as a seamless surface. More to the point, the piece utilizes the idea of “Ray Trace”, a term used to defined spatial objects in computer graphics, to emphasize the very idea and illusion of “doubling”, where forms (and light vectors) double and reflect each other in a virtual mirrored environment until infinity is reached. Thus Ray Traced not only transcends the reduced framework of analytic geometry to the photonic reality of light, it deals with 3D illusion making head on.
Like innumerable painters of the past who have used the notion of the “landscape” as form of inner expression, the artists J-Walt (US) and Ina Conradi (Serbia/Singapore) use 3D ideas to further express the notion of a landscape as a reflection of a mental space as opposed to reality.
Frantic Fluid by Germany’s Martin Stebbing, creates its own physical/virtual space where a human figure seems endlessly trapped in the confines of a box. Here a ghostly image defines his or her space by fast gyrating movements, as if in a never-ending dance. But the movements suggest a form of the transcendent, or letting go. As the lyrics in the soundtrack go: Dance!/You into me/Me into all/All into one.
The failure of the body to hold its own space is also found in Kennth Tin-Kin Hung’s playful piece, Fat Free Nirvana/The Fast Supper 3D versions (2013). Here Hung reimagines two religious icons: The Buddha and Jesus. In the latter he remixes Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, by having Christ consuming a variety of processed food including “JFC”, “Crucifries”, “Super Big Guts Soda” and “Holey Grail Donuts” until he explodes in an obesity-inspired rapture.
The space of controlled combustion is also central to Marco Brambilla’s RPM (2011), which is featured in the back gallery. For this piece and Brambilla uses the combustion engines found in Ferrari race engines, along with the very icons found in racing, to create a psychological, visually intense meditation on speed, control, and force. What’s more, like AEAEAEAE, he doubles and quadruples the images to further complicate notions of space.
Breaking space is also at the heart of Space Invaders (2008) by Santiago Caicedo of Columbia. Using an array of tv monitors that seem to “see through” to the wall behind them, Caicedo introduces dozens of ping-pong balls bouncing through the frame in 3D—creating a new space inside and outside the televised image. The result is a playful taunt at minimalism, Bruce Nauman and Fischli & Weiss.