Feb 4, 2017

Moving Image Exhibition

The exhibition I went to on Friday was Dreamlands:Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905~2016 in Whitney Museum. This is actually the first exhibition I have been to that is specially for moving image. The range of moving image in this exhibition does not constrain to film. There are also many interactive pieces in this exhibition, which I find innovative and enjoyable as the audience.

The first direct observation I have is that moving image objects in museum generally requires much more space. Many of the pieces in this exhibition need a room or space individually. One of the impressive objects is Ben Coonley's Trading Futures. For this piece, audience needs to enter into a geodesic dome with 3D glasses. There are bean bags for viewers to lie down to watch a 360 degree 3D video. The video has instructions for people to open or close left and right eyes to see different parts. I would say this is the most attractive object of the whole exhibition. On the exhibition guide, this one is actually marked as top picks for kids, which would totally bring families to this exhibition. The whole space could fit around a dozen of people.

Several pieces are placed in completely dark rooms. When I entered those dark spaces, the security turned on the flashlight for me to walk in. One of the typical ones is Anthony McCall's Line Describing a Cone, which uses the beam of a 16mm projector to make a large white circle through fine mist. Besides the beam from the projector, the projector itself and the circle on the wall, the room is so dark. I could barely notice if other people were right next to me. The other part of this piece that I find considerate for this object is that on the wall text, it says "Please be advised: This installation includes a fine mist in the air made of water vapor and glycol. Those with respiratory conditions may wish to avoid it." The similar situation happens in several other objects including one called Easternsports by artists Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson, which warns viewers the piece has fragrant smells.

One of the traditional film piece I saw is Edwin S. Porter's Coney Island at Night, which I just watched on Thursday night in Film History class.

The exhibition in general is really large and it uses up the whole fifth floor of the museum. I still feel that some pieces need more space, especially pieces with audio.

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