I Need Some Space to Think
“My work explores the tensions between people, their image, and their self image…Viewers stand before an electronic image and a video camera... The video of each viewer is analyzed by software and manipulated, reordered, combined with text, or replaced by found images. As the viewer moves, the image is activated in ways that give pause for reflection. Onlookers witness a range of reactions, from self-conscious inhibition to exuberant abandon.”
Chris Basmajian is a new media artist who creates provocative interactive sculptural works that utilize custom computer software and proximity sensors to generate a dialogue about humanity’s elusive search for knowledge and truth. For his exhibition at the DCCA, the artist focuses on the subject of space as a site for a philosophical discussion of vision, systems of knowledge, and information. He specifically probes astrology, astronomy, and the media’s representation of information to literally and metaphorically depict hindsight, reality, superstition, and hubris through the medium of technology, mirrors, and distorted screens. Basmajian also exploits photography and video-projection as devices to re-frame our image of space, from the psychological to the intergalactic. Rather than accepting received wisdom—from zodiac readings to NASA’s space program—the artist draws upon electronic and imagebased media to query the personal and cultural motivation to interpret the stars or tame the “wild” universe. In a larger sense, Basmajian allows us to visualize human folly from the privileged perspective of the present, reminding us that truth is subjective and perpetually shifting in time.
-Maiza Hixson, Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art