Black Mirror

New Video Installations and Moving Paintings

by Robert Seidel

March 22, 2011 – May 12, 2011

 Young Projects is pleased to welcome and present the work of Robert Seidel.

 

Based in Jena Germany, Seidel (1977) first began studying biology and finished his media design diploma at the Bauhaus-University Weimar. He has since become one of the leading lights in the area of abstract cinema. Using custom-designed software, he builds each piece slowly over time, often transforming personal imagery, recollections and impressions into lyrical, sensuous shapes that ebb and flow with extraordinary grace and beauty. These works, which can exist in singular spaces, or performed in front of an audience, are designed to capture the fleeting nature of thoughts, where an idea, image or sense-impression can inspire a wide array of interpretations. “_grau” (2004) for instance, was inspired by different memories from the artist, whether a specific event, or merely a sense impression. “In my films I’m interested in pushing the boundaries of organic beauty and their emotional perception with visual and scientific technology,” says Seidel. “This multifaceted perspective is a kind of semi-narrative skeleton,” says the artist. “I am interested in how the viewer can fill these images with his or her own memory to create a seamless blend with the artwork itself.”

 

More recently Seidel has been pushing his abstractions into three dimensions by creating physical sculptures that exist in architectural spaces, where the viewer can walk around and through the image. By doing so, Seidel further complicates the inside/outside nature of abstraction, and leads non-figurative cinema away from painterly imitations, toward a more unique, experiential, psychological and formal expression. “Black Mirror” 2011, which was made specifically for this exhibition, was inspired by various patterns made by insects (Bark Beetles), as they borrow into tree bark (and eventually kill their host trees). These patterns were then made through laser cutting and built in a way that mirrors the images themselves: delicate, organic and ephemeral. “Everything I do grows out of on-going processes,” explains Seidel. “And these processes evolve into abstract-organic ‘tableaux vivants,’ which exist on the screen as well as entangle architectural space via projections or sliced virtual sculptures. [Seidel's work] appeals to me because it is organo-tech. It does not deliberately ape the abstract pioneers of abstract cinema, and it is worlds away from the motion graphic masturbation of many of those enamoured by digital animation. Seidel's work is impressionistic, melding biological and emotional currents. Out of amorphous shapes we make out bones, heads, a hand. A spirit leaving the body. At least, this is what I sense out of the chaos of galactic reconfigurations, neurological connections, and biological forms. This is a powerful piece of digital animation precisely because it does not feel like such, it feels emotional, epic. And once you release the background to the animation--communicating a 'coming to terms' with the aftermath of a car accident--you realize why. -- Comment concerning _grau by Matt Hanson | author of “The End of Celluloid” and founder of onedotzero festival

 

Seidel’s projections and art films have been shown at museums such as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, ZKM Karlsruhe Germany, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum Ludwigshafen Germany, MOCA Taipei, Art Center Nabi Seoul, the Phyletic Museum, Jena, Germany, and SESC Pompeia São Paulo. They have also appeared in a number of galleries, magazines, books, DVDs and TV programmes worldwide, and been honoured with several awards such as the Honorary Award of KunstFilmBiennale Cologne. For more information go to www.robertseidel.com

 

Special thanks to The German Short Film Association, Deegen Day Design Los Angeles, and Camila Vial

 

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Works in the Exhibition

 

“dive painting #1” 2007

5 channel (on five crt monitors) 0:41min

 

“E3” (2002)

single channel, SD, 3:00 min

“winzerla woods” 2005

single channel, SD, 1:37min

 

“scrape” (2011)

Single channel, HD, 2:28 min

“appearing disappearance” 2007

single channel, HD, 0:35min

 

“vellum” 2009

2 channel version, slices of a virtual sculpture, original size 100 x 125 x 80 m with 6 screens,

56,6 x 1m; 35 x 1,2 m; 5,1 x 4,1m, 1 x 6 m; 1 x 6 m; 1 x 6 m,

commissioned by Art Center Nabi, Seoul, SK, 2 screen version, HD, 7:20 min

 

“black mirror” 2011

2 channel installation and 2 laser cut paper sculpture, HD (Wall Sculpture)

 

“chiral” 2010

2 channel version, projection and paper sculpture

commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan, HD, 2:58 min

 

“_grau” (2004)

single channel, HD, 10:01 min

 

“processes: living paintings 2008 (documentation)

facade projection, commissioned by Phyletic Museum, Jena, Germany, HD, 4:58 min

 

“meander” 2010 (documentation)

av live performance with musician Heiko Tippelt, Museum of Image and Sound, São Paulo, Brazil, HD, 45:00 minutes

 

“chiral” 2010

2 channel version, projection and paper sculpture

commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan, HD, 2:58 min

 

“futures” (2006)

commissioned music video for the band Zero 7, SD, 3:58 mins

TV programmes worldwide, and been honoured with several awards such as the Honorary Award of KunstFilmBiennale Cologne. For more information go to www.robertseidel.com Special thanks to The German Short Film Association, Deegen Day Design Los Angeles, and Camila Vial Works in the Exhibition