The Parrish Art Museum showcases experimental video art
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The Parrish Art Museum showcases experimental video art
Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten (DataSpaceTime), Breakout, 2015, single-channel video, 7 minutes 4 seconds © Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten. Image courtesy of the artists and Microscope Gallery.

WATER MILL, NY.- For the first time, the Parrish Art Museum has entered into a collaboration with New York City Center in Manhattan, acting as curator for the historic performing arts venue’s highly visible Frederic and Robin Neimark Seegal Video Gallery. The ongoing partnership provides the Parrish, located in Water Mill, New York, an opportunity to showcase experimental works on City Center’s video display wall, which is accessible to thousands of audience members every night. For the first of its three curated projects planned for City Center, the Parrish is presenting the newly commissioned work, Breakout, by the artist duo Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten (DataSpaceTime). The installation opened January 22, 2015, and is on view through December at City Center, West 55 Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, New York.

“This collaboration provides an opportunity for the Parrish Art Museum and New York City Center to commission new works by artists working in video art, electronic media, and computational art—the latest frontier of creative output,” said Andrea Grover, Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish. “Artists are selected and invited to generate video imagery in response to the mission, program, and singular architecture of New York City Center.”

“The theater itself is a work of art,” explained New York City Center President & CEO Arlene Shuler. “We’re a landmarked building with a gorgeous Neo-Moorish façade and interior. Since a great deal of our theatrical programming—including the Tony-honored Encores! series—involves making connections between the old and the new, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to enrich the space with new work from these spectacularly gifted visual artists.”

The Parrish is the second museum to curate the Video Gallery. When the Video Gallery was installed as part of City Center’s 2011 restoration, The New Museum curated three installations, beginning with video works by New York–based artist Rashaad Newsome. The Gallery extends the length of City Center’s orchestra lobby wall and features six 36" x 80" high-definition plasma monitors. Computer-controlled processing allows images to move from one video column to the next, creating a sense of motion and continuity that is in harmony with the architectural features of the building.

Breakout was created specifically for the Video Gallery by Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten (DataSpaceTime), working with form and color across the six columns and interacting with the gallery’s architecture. Inspired by the Neo-Moorish decorative patterns on the wall surface, the 7 minute 4 second single channel video is composed of original footage shot by the artists to explore rhythm, light, and distortion of the visual field. Stars emanating from positions corresponding to the ornamental grill overlaying the screens create a sense of movement and expanding space. Images, ranging from gems to schools of fish to an astronaut floating in outer space, imply a variable scale from the molecular to the cosmological and an accelerated passage of time. Like past works by DataSpaceTime, Breakout is influenced by code-based aesthetics and the fragmentation that occurs when manufactured environments, history and information merge.

Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten (DataSpaceTime) debuted their collaboration in November of 2011 with the exhibition “the optimal value for y” at Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and followed by a second solo show in 2013. The duo uses current technologies that are further developed or redirected as a means to consider the culture of informatics and the thresholds of perception across different mediums. Lisa Gwilliam and Ray Sweeten have also exhibited in New York City at MoMA PS1, Moving Image New York 2014, New Museum, The Kitchen as well as nationally and abroad at the Schmidt Center Gallery of Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL; Rowan University Gallery, Glassboro, NJ; Whitdel Arts, Detroit, MI; Festival A-part, Provence, France; and Boston Cyber Arts Gallery, Boston, MA among many others. Lisa Gwilliam and Ray Sweeten, who live and work in Brooklyn, NY, are represented by Microscope Gallery.

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