Monday, April 14, 2008

I Video Tape, Therefore I Am

On the first day of our trip we saw a woman do an amazing blues rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" at El Farol. Cliff turned to me and asked, " Do you ever just want to ditch it all and become a blues singer?" I reminded him that I have absolutely no singing talent. None.

At the Green Tea & Coffee House he asked me if I ever wanted to throw it all away and become a wandering folk singer? "There's that pesky talent requirement again."

At the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum we saw an amazing video on the life of Ms. O'Keeffe. Cliff turned to me and asked, "Did you ever just want to run away and become a painter?" Naw, I don't have any training or talent in that area either.

SITE Santa Fe
is in their own words, a "contemporary art space." We arrived at about 11 on Thursday and found that we were the only people there. We had the whole museum to ourselves and had three very attentive guides to help interpret the "art."

In the first room, we sat on a couch alone in the dark and watched Steina, an Icelandic "video artist" lip sync to "Let It Be." Actually, it was just a giant close up of her lips syncing to "Let It Be." I can tell you she has healthy gums.

I turned to Cliff at this point and told him I was thankful that I got the teacher discount.

In the next room there were about six long screens with shadows of Steina projected on them. I thought it was a bit freaky. The guide assured me that many students in all grades have been to the exhibit and they weren't scared. "Their teachers prepared them for the art."

I really appreciate the Getty.

Then we watched a pyramid of TV's with nature images which were cut to look like a kaleidoscope. I liked this piece best. The guide told me it was Steina's favorite too*.

Room after room and I started to get a bit peeved.

Was I not cool enough to enjoy video art?

Or, was this colossal BS?

Should I be happy that there truly is something for everyone?

I remembered the first time I saw Warhol's soup can in NYC. I got that. I thought that was pretty funny and cool. I do think almost anyone can make their own Pollack, but seeing those huge canvases in real life was very cool.

No, I get art.

On our way out, I noticed the funders for this exhibit were foundations like the Warhol Foundation. Then it hit me! What the heck am I doing applying for grants to Target and Lowe's for chump change for school gardens and reading programs???

The money is in Video Art! And, as luck would have it- talent is the same as confidence.

So, when Cliff turned to me and asked if I ever thought of giving it all up to become a video artist, the answer was YES!

I am now an official video artist. Cue Maria from West Side Story singing "There is a place for us..."

That was easy. All I had to do was declare it. Some Crest White Strips and I would be ready to lip sync close up too. Maybe I could lip sync to Mrs. Jone's "Yes, I Can Multiply!"

No, the lip sync thing has been done. I have a better idea and I started preparing on our trip home. I am going to collect a bunch of digital cameras and send them out to all my friends and family all over the US. I am going to have them take video of anything they want and send them back.

Then I am going to build a big cabinet with little cubbies for each camera. The cameras will be anchored inside their special cubby so that you can see the postage stamp sized viewing screen. The museum guides at SITE Santa Fe will instruct visitors to walk up to any camera and watch the teeny tiny videos. I am thinking they could pass out magnifying glasses if need be.

I am going to call it a "Digital I Spy Quilt" and connect it to the vast quilting heritage in the US.
I have a slogan. "Digital Video- The New Fabric of Our Lives." Catchy, huh? I know it's a bit of a rip off from the cotton people. I hope they will forgive me.

Now that I am an artist, maybe I can get funding from the National Endowment For the Arts.
I am sure that the exhibit at Site Santa Fe cost bucks. After all, there was a one on one ratio of guides to guests. (To think I have had 30 + students all by myself!)

Frankly, I hope to one day convince my new video artist friends at SITE Santa Fe to run for government. They managed to get $15 out of us and I am cheap people! Clearly they are persuasive. They could just persuade other countries to get along. No wars, just peace man.

I'll leave you now with one of Steina's works called "Warp." Tomorrow, come back for my first video art installment called "Digital Super Highway" it's I'll just let the art speak for itself.

*See, we are simpatico- it's a video artist thing.


Nutsy Coco said...

Umm. Wow? I guess I'm not an avant garde artiste. Give me Van Gogh, Monet. Oh how I love the impressionists.

Anonymous said...

ummm. That's not my kind of art either...


misskp said...

interesting...and yes, I'm glad there's something for everybody. The "something" for me is a bit more traditional. I'm just sayin'.

Mal said...

I went to art school for 5 years and this is not my kind of art either, but I like the collaborative idea you have for the digital quilt