Critics’ Picks

View of “New Document,” 2012. From left: Hunter Longe, Binary with Distortion, 2011; Hunter Longe and Matthew Draving, Open Screen Unit, 2011; Andrew Chapman, Notwithstanding (1), 2011.


“New Document”

Johansson Projects
2300 Telegraph Avenue
December 15–January 21

Hunter Longe and Matthew Draving’s floor-bound sculpture Open Screen Unit (all works 2011) grounds many of the ideas afoot in this concise group show. Here, a projection of a mesh pattern shines through a sheet of mesh draped over a square frame, producing an ethereal illumination. The title indicates that this “screen” is not a surface for the serial, filmic play of images, but a site that responds to the simultaneous, software-enabled production of images. Indeed, throughout the exhibition screens are employed not as spaces of fixity or one-way transmission, but as sites open to fluidity and mutation by their environment and the user.

This notion, to some extent, is apparent in Andrew Chapman’s Hello, My Name Is Vector, a diptych on panel coated with green screen paint, making it receptive to video and software. Centered on the left-hand panel is a square box, smeared with wide swaths of gray paint, which appears to be a scaled-down version of the entire right side of the piece. Close inspection reveals vertical cylinders under the layers of gray. Viewers “zoom” in to see the cylinders, just as the artist “zooms” in on the right side of the painting, soliciting a response that recalls both digital tools and the camera’s lens.

Longe and Draving’s installation I/O Glyphics similarly folds in methods from video and software, offering the illusion of a computer-animated image. Behind a wall in the gallery, the artists have suspended a slowly rotating replica of the Rosetta stone in a studio with professional lighting, and then captured it with a video camera. The live feed is displayed on a monitor near the gallery’s entrance. At first the image seems to be a 3-D computer animation, but once the visitor walks around the wall toward the studio, its origin as a sculpture becomes apparent. While I/O Glyphics cleverly toys with one’s expectations, Hugh Zeigler’s series “LONGHANDLONGHAND” enacts change through continuity. The same colorful, geometric composition is instantiated several times, as a large painting, two photographs, and an animated GIF. In its repetition, the work seems to perform software’s potential for limitless duplication and versioning.