New media From Spark to Pixel exhibition on in Berlin
Nov 16, 2007, 19:12 GMT
Berlin - Twenty-four installations, several of huge dimension, by artists from a dozen countries are on show in the voluminous Martin-Gropius-Bau, just yards from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city.
The spectacular From Spark to Pixel new media art exhibition at the former arts and crafts museum, involves the use of digital and interactive electronic media and is the brainchild of French-born curator Richard Castelli.
Striking installations combine experiences in the perception of time and space with a reinterpretation of the role of the observer from passive to participatory, Castelli explains.
The exhibition is supported by a grant of 900,000 euros (1.3 million dollars) from the German Federation Cultural Fund.
Thousands of visitors have flock to see it, large groups of school children are among them - eager to press buttons, enter crowd interaction projection booths, or flex their muscles on Korean-born artist Brad Hwang's sledge-like installation, which has an electrostatic generator and two revolving discs.
Works by Hwang, Jean Michel Bruyere(France), Erwin Redl(Austria) and Japanese art group, Dumb Type are having their world premieres, in Berlin.
From Spark to Pixel also features works by Jeffrey Shaw and Sarah Kenderdine (Australia); Gregory Barsamian (US); Marie Maquaire and Thomas McIntosh (Canada); Romy Achituv (Israel); Du Zhenjun, and Patrick Sorin (France); Cristian Partos (Sweden); David Moises (Austria) and Ulf Langheinrich, KAI, Joachim Sauter and Bernd Luesebrink, Art + Com (Germany).
When the Berlin Wall fell 18 years ago, Hwang was a 24-year-old Korean student living in Utah in the United States.
Now a US citizen, Hwang told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa: 'I was so excited by the 1989 events in Berlin that I decided I must get there immediately. I kept thinking, this could happen in divided Korea one day, and I wanted to live the experience.'
Hwang has remained in Berlin ever since, working in a variety of jobs in the construction industry and, more recently, as a stage technician. Now, he devotes most of his spare time to 'new media art', creating odd-ball machines with most unusual functions.
His latest work is titled Time May Change Me, I Can't Change Time. 'What I try to do is change the parametres of physical space and combine visible and invisible phenomena in my homemade constructions,' he says, while sipping a beer at a cafe on Berlin's Nollendorf Platz.
Earlier, people involved in new media art tended to be ghettoised as 'those doing that computer stuff,' he claims. 'Today that is no longer the case. Now, artists use a wide variety of tools and the public wants to discover and learn the meaning of their work, regardless of what methods they may adopt.'
Hwang, who is married with two children, lives on a 30-metre converted barge on a canal by the downtown Berlin Zoo. 'The barge is over 100 years old and had no roof or heating when we first bought it. But it is in wonderful shape and now serves as our home as well as my studio,' he says proudly.
Castelli says he devised a concept for the show on people's attitude to energy, which takes on four immaterial conditions - fire, electricity, light and pixel - as a thematic starting point.
'The pixel, the smallest unit in an electronic image, highlights a form of energy, which no longer has any fossil properties and is, moreover, an information carrier,' he says.
The show's artistic prologue is provided by Candle TV, an object produced in 1976 by late media art pioneer Nam June Paik.
Light and movement are the main elements in the impressive installations of Sweden's Christian Partos, while in Gregory Barsamian's work, Scream, the artist uses sculptures to produce a film in which he revives the effect created by the zoetrope, an early motion picture projector.
Austria's Erwin Redl bathes real structures in thousands of lights in his FLOW Berlin 2007 installation, which sees blue LED waves hover in space in the atrium, above the heads of visitors. Thomas McIntosh's Ondulation handles the simultaneity of sound and light waves in a way that causes you to think 'you can see sounds and hear images.'
The exhibition opened on October 28 and runs to January 2008.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur