The momentum of the dot-com era infused media art with a heady energy, artists, many switching from analog to digital equipment, tried their hands at a range of newly invented art forms. They built interactive installations, electronic publishing networks, and art for the Internet. Technology evolved so fast that in some cases an art form may have disappeared while an artist’s work was still in the making. By the year 2000, this quasi-revolutionary aura had dissipated and media art had settled into the mainstream. Automatic Update features several installations from this later period. They are mature works that ease the somber mood of the times with entertaining presentations. Nevertheless, their humor does not soften their biting commentary on our social milieu. What at one time was Pop art has now become pop life. The exhibition is organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media.
Each of these tabletop miniature kinetic sculptures involves two linked narratives. In Second Date, one harrative is a small-scale recreation of a scene from the film Week End by Jean Luc Godard. The other is a tableau portraying the artists themselves in the act of watching the film on a small- screen: a live video feed of the cinematic recreation appears on their screen. In the gallery space, a video sequence cuts back and forth between images of the artists in their viewing environment and images of the film scene they are watching. All of the films involve car culture and its portrayal in cinema.