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Andrea Peña
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Asim Waqif
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Shohei Katayama
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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Jim Campbell

Fathers of the Elevator

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Jim Campbell creates a digital interactive art form that uses advanced computer-driven custom electronics and video to pose questions about the ways in which we structure and access the information we call memory. Making use of the ways in which digitized images can be stored and retrieved by computer either systematically or randomly, the work in this exhibition plays out with clarity and in real-time the strange ways in which things surface in memory.

Often utilizing a recorded image of the current viewer as an active part of the work's realization, Campbell elaborates on a slowly discovered universe of interconnected fragments in which the viewer is a participant. By creating an environment in which the viewer's actual reaction or physical response to a given work activates its function, Campbell reaches across the borders of installation art and video to create a new model of viewer engagement with visual artwork. Contemplation and distance are replaced with interaction and involvement as the work literally embeds the viewer in its ongoing process of generation and display.

Curated by Elaine A. King

When

2009

About The Artist

Jim Campbell attended MIT where he received a BS in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003. Campbell’s artwork has undergone a succession of manifestations from film to video, to installation and electronic sculpture. At the nucleus of his work is a focus on human memory and its relationship to time and movement from both psychological and scientific perspectives. For over twenty years, Campbell has been creating some of the most inventive technology-based artwork. In his original and subtle constructions, Campbell pairs “custom electronics” with the use of LED (Light light-emitting diodes) and other materials and their architectural surrounding. He has shaped exceptional designs for custom hardware and software using his background in engineering and mathematics. His utilization of art, design, and science has led him to produce customized electronic sculptures and groundbreaking interactive installations. In his more recent works, he explores perception at the threshold of recognition of moving images and postulates what kinds of meaning can be expressed with limited amounts of information. To a great extent, his current work harnesses the visual impact of LED displays, by transmitting digital video through LEDs, in order to create moving-image sculptures. However, his electronic constructions are not aimed at creating an exciting LED display, as they are a viewer’s perception and their ability to recognize a moving image through extremely low resolution. According to Campbell, “The biggest challenge --working with technology and art is to transcend the medium -- and to have some sort of humanist side to the work.”

Jim Campbell creates a digital interactive art form that uses advanced computer-driven custom electronics and video to pose questions about the ways in which we structure and access the information we call memory. Making use of the ways in which digitized images can be stored and retrieved by computer either systematically or randomly, the work in this exhibition plays out with clarity and in real-time the strange ways in which things surface in memory.

Often utilizing a recorded image of the current viewer as an active part of the work's realization, Campbell elaborates on a slowly discovered universe of interconnected fragments in which the viewer is a participant. By creating an environment in which the viewer's actual reaction or physical response to a given work activates its function, Campbell reaches across the borders of installation art and video to create a new model of viewer engagement with visual artwork. Contemplation and distance are replaced with interaction and involvement as the work literally embeds the viewer in its ongoing process of generation and display.

Curated by Elaine A. King

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