Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Inspiration: Audio-Visual Mosaics

My most recent sculptural installations . . . explore the short life
 expectancy of the technologies we cast off and their relationship
 to organic mortality. These installations also seek to reanimate
 the lifeless. . .  Through my work I try to bring dead materials
 back to life, reveal their secrets, revive the collective
 memory they contain to construct an accurate portrait 
of a society and an age.
~ Daniel Canogar, Artist Statement

How many of us have ever given any thought to reusing in a new way any of our old DVDs? Visual artist Daniel Canogar (b. 1964) has, and one result of his re-appropriation and repurposing of old media is Sikka Magnum, below, for which Canogar used 360 DVDs onto the reflective surfaces of which he projected movies and animations. Take a look at his "audio-visual mosaic":

For his multi-media projection installations, Canogar uses already obsolete, discarded, or increasingly disappearing 35mm film, VHS tape, DVDs, analogic television screens, electric cables, telephone wires, multimedia hard drives, projectors, LED screens, and an assortment of other materials, including photographs. Many of his creations are, visually, quite beautiful. Their titles often are derived from classical sources, and their interplays of light, color, and movement transfix. At the same time, the works make subtle statements about new technologies' role in our lives. Canogar is, he says, especially "interested in how technology blurs our bodily boundaries, and how communication technologies extend our sense of self. . . I'm seduced by access to the endless communication that the Internet promises but also overwhelmed by social networking. . . ." (E-mail interview with Curator N. Elizabeth Schlatter, December 2012). 

Public art pieces by Canogar, who exhibits around the world, can be found in Houston, Texas, where his sculpture Waves (2012), made of LED tiles, has been installed permanently at 2 Houston Center; Madrid, Spain, where his photo-mosaic Constelaciones (2010), made up of 6.650 million recycled glass chip tiles and photographs, was commissioned for two pedestrian bridges over Manzanares River (Madrid Rio Project); and New York City's American Museum of Natural History, which commissioned Synaptic Passage (2010), comprising 500 kilos of recycled electric cables, projectors, and video animation, for the exhibition "Brain: The Inside Story". In addition, three artworks are at Jaleo, Jose Andres's restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Canogar's work currently is featured in a solo exhibition "Quadratura", on view through April 21, at Bildmuseet in Umea, Sweden. (For additional information, see "Quadratura" at Canogar's Website.) His Pneuma (2009) is part of a group exhibition, "Flow, Just Flow: Variations on a Theme", continuing through June 28 at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. (An online catalogue accompanies the latter exhibition; see the page for Daniel Canogar, which includes an interview with the artist.)

In a video interview for the Bildmuseet exhibit, Canogar talks about his artistic vision and the four works on view.

Canogar's creativity astounds. You'll want to spend some time looking through the projects section, organized by year, at his Website.  

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