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September 01, 2006

Reentry: New York City


Studies for Synthetic Meteors

Reentry: New York City :: Studies for Synthetic Meteors :: Eyebeam :: September 21 - October 21, 2006 :: Tues-Sat, 12-6pm :: 540 W. 21st St.

Reentry: New York City merges iconic night cityscapes with HD computer simulations in a series of studies for a daring new public art project: synthetic meteor showers in the Manhattan sky. Evoking the style and spectacle of the Apocalyptic Sublime painting movement with the vastness of Land Art, these new works created by Bill Dolson during his Eyebeam residency will be on view Sept. 21 through Oct. 21, with a special opening reception Sept. 21 6-8pm. The exhibition is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6pm and is free of charge with a suggested donation.

Reentry: New York City contains twelve HD videos of synthetic meteors showers envisioned as luminous, ephemeral drawings in the upper atmosphere. These drawings will persist for only seconds, at most minutes. While quite fantastic, the project is technologically possible and preliminary plans have been established with the assistance of scientists at NASA JSC Ames and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Documentary information including tech specs and some of the motivation behind these artworks will be described in companion animation, presented at the entrance to the exhibition.

Reentry: New York City uses new technologies to draw on the tradition of the early large scale land art first produced in the 70s by such innovators as Heizer, Smithson, Morris and de Maria, evoking the same sense of daring, boldness and heightened awareness which the scale of these seminal works produced. However they avoid the permanent monumentalism of earlier land art through their dynamic and ephemeral nature, moderating their vast scale.

These studies invoke the Apocalyptic Sublime, a painting genre of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Britain, in both content and format. Leading artists of the time including Benjamin West, Blake and Turner produced popular Apocalyptic Sublime works depicting apocalyptic themes such as The Deluge or scenes from the Book of Revelations, often in an urban setting and frequently featuring comets or meteors. The projections and screens in Reentry will be presented salon style. In the two hundred years since the Apocalyptic Sublime, the purview of art has been extended from the depiction of an apocalyptic event to the physical staging of one.

Dolson is simultaneously exhibiting digital C-prints of frames from these video studies at Photographic Gallery, 252 Front Street (South Street Seaport Historic District) in New York City. The exhibition, Trajectories: Carter Hodgkin & Bill Dolson opens September 28 with an artists' reception 6-9 pm.

Posted by jo at September 1, 2006 11:30 AM