At Oakland's Krowswork gallery, photography and video are always at the fore. But this summer, like last, owner and director Jasmine Moorhead has chosen to feature video exclusively, filling the four rooms of the gallery with eleven different works by twelve artists. In this group show of narrative, abstract, sculptural, and interactive video, a love for the medium binds the diverse works together. Whether shaky, glitchy, or high definition, video is manipulated by the artists in Summer of Video Art 2012 to best suit their needs, demonstrating the medium's adaptability and continued relevance.
While a number of pieces in Summer of Video Art resemble gestures more than fully realized works, Farley Gwazda's Model Earth (Part One), an abstracted digital animation, is notably accomplished. Layers of colors, line, and movement interact seamlessly with one another, all backed by a warm mixture of real life and digitally-produced sounds. With the video's title as a starting point, the animation connotes planet formation, cell growth, shifting tectonic plates, and ocean currents. Tucked in the far corner of the back gallery, this video should not be missed.
Farley Gwazda, Model Earth (Part One).
Torsten Zenas Burns, Familiars.
Similarly engaging, Torsten Zenas Burns' 10-minute Familiars documents a group of people absorbed in a series of bizarre daily activities. According to Burns' narrative, these dreamy weirdos are 'artists in residence' in an historical Massachusetts home. The awkward analog elements of the video are strange and charming -- a 'nostalgia' filter is created by videoing everything through some kind of glass orb, rendering strange undulations in the image. All the scenes are swept up into a melodramatic orchestral score, the entire video could be the introduction to a truly watchable art reality show.