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March 06, 2007

Art Interactive


Camille Utterback's Animated Gestures

Animated Gestures: three recent interactive drawing installations by pioneering new media artist, Camille Utterback :: Curated by Lisa Dorin :: March 9 - May 13, 2007 :: Art Interactive, 130 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139 ::

The three installations in Animated Gestures are part of the artist’s ongoing External Measures series, which Utterback began in 2001. They consist of the single-channel projections, Untitled 5 (2004) and Untitled 6 (2005), and Alluvial (2007), a two-channel piece commissioned for a private collection and debuting publicly at Art Interactive. In each installation, a unique abstract composition is created through what Utterback refers to as an “aesthetic system that responds fluidly and intriguingly to physical movement in the exhibit space.”

When a viewer enters the designated area in front of the projection screen, her shape is captured by an overhead camera, which communicates the information to a computer program that translates her movement into one of a series of corresponding marks, erasures or animated actions in the projected composition. The palette of organic marks resembles a variety of traditional drawing media—thick oil pastel or felt pen smears, delicate watercolor spots, chalky conté-crayon scribbles, and subtle pen and ink dots and lines—that are reflective of the artist’s own hand. Utterback’s early oil paintings, from her pre-technology art-making days, such as Pink Galaxy (1995), display a comparable affinity for the abstract gestures, particular color combinations, and characteristic mark making that appear in the External Measures series.

Similarly, her interest in participatory artworks that draw attention to and make use of the body, also predates her involvement with new media technologies, as exemplified by Preserves (1992), an installation in which viewers were invited to pick up and investigate a set of sealed canning jars filled with combinations of food and female beauty products.

Camille Utterback is a pioneering artist and programmer in the field of interactive installation. Her extensive exhibit history includes The Valencia Institute of Modern Art, Spain (2007); The Itaú Cultural Center, São Paulo, Brazil (2006); The San Jose Museum of Art, California (2005); The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The American Museum of the Moving Image, New York (2003); The Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (2001); The Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Ars Electronica Center, Austria (2000). Awards include a Transmediale International Media Art Festival Award (2005), a Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship (2002) and a Whitney Museum commission for their ArtPort website (2002). Her work is owned by Hewlett Packard, The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, The La Caixa Foundation and others. Utterback holds a US patent for a video tracking system she developed as a researcher at New York University (2004).

Lisa Dorin is Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she organizes focus, a series of one-person exhibitions by international contemporary artists, and is currently producing a catalogue of the museum’s film, video, and media collection.

Posted by jo at March 6, 2007 12:30 PM