Thursday, April 21, 2011

Announcing: Jim Campbell

Market Street Pause, 2010, custom electronics, white LEDs, plexiglass, 14'' x 61'' x 2''. Photo: S. Christianson

Jim Campbell

April 22 - May 31, 2011

Opening Reception: Friday April 29th 6 - 8 pm

Howard Yezerski Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of three recent works by artist Jim Campbell. An MIT graduate with an engineering degree, Campbell utilizes custom LED technology to create innovative works that explore the relationships between human perception, movement and memory. Campbell's work combines image-making with technology in a way that subtly plays with the line between representation and abstraction. The pieces allow the viewer to interpret and complete the ideas and images communicated by the light and movement in the work. The show opens in conjunction with the seventh biennial Boston Cyber Arts Festival.

Market Street Pause is a work that straddles the line between representation and abstraction.  The footage is of Market Street in San Francisco, with vehicle and pedestrian traffic passing by.  The moving image is randomly interrupted with pauses, and all motion freezes for a brief time before resuming.  The comprehension of the image relies on this movement.  When this motion is stopped, the image becomes abstract.

In Exploded View (Commuters), Campbell took an idea for a technological concept to create an entirely different kind of work, which takes a two-dimensional image but shows it in a three-dimensional space. Using footage of commuters from New York's Grand Central Station, Campbell created a field of more than 1100 LEDs in vertical rows, which are connected by hanging wires. While standing in front of the piece the viewer sees ripples of darkness pass through it, loosely identified as bustling commuters. Alternatively a view from the side of the piece renders it entirely abstract and ultimately meaningless.

Fundamental Interval Commuters #2 is another work created in New York’s Grand Central Station.  It combines a still photograph of commuters mounted to Plexiglas with a low resolution LED panel behind it, programmed with a 20 minute loop of people walking through the station in the same location.  The length of the photographic exposure is the fundamental interval, in this case the length of a single footstep.

Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and lives in San Francisco. He received degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT in 1978. He has been working with LED technology since 1999. Camobell's work is in many public institutions nationwide including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Austin Museum of Art and several others. Campbells work has been collected and exhibited extensively worldwide.