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Aspect: The Chronicle Of New Media Art, Vol. 10 Rural cover image

Aspect: The Chronicle Of New Media Art, Vol. 10 Rural 2008


Distributed by Microcinema International/Microcinema DVD, 1636 Bush St., Suite #2, SF, CA 94109; 415-447-9750
Produced by Aspect Magazine
Directed by various artists
DVD, color, 60 min.

College - Adult
Media Art, Short Films, Video Art, Media Studies, Film Studies

Date Entered: 09/10/2008

Reviewed by Sebastian Derry, Temple University

What is Aspect? This biannual DVD publication describes itself thusly:

“Our mission is to distribute and archive works of time-based art. Each issue highlights artists working in new or experimental media, whose works are best documented in video or sound.”

The particular issue under review, Volume 10 Rural “features nine artists who challenge and investigate the real, imagined, and mediated natural world. These artists effectively employ high-and low- tech transformations and interventions which concentrate the attention of the art world, however temporarily, on the vast world outside of urbanity.”

Can one’s world-view be changed simply by seeing it from the perspective of various fowl? The opening work Bird-Cams by Sam Easterson attempts an answer. This a selection of video footage from cameras designed by Easterson, and affixed to a variety of birds in their natural environment—including ducks, a chick and a hawk. The ensuing shift to bird’s eye view, literally, is so profound and dramatic, as to be disorienting.

Easterson’s is a difficult act to follow. Verily, the remaining 8 works, however skillfully executed, never quite reach the literal and figurative heights of Bird-Cams. Nevertheless this disc easily recommends itself for the sheer variety of work presented.

An interesting added feature: each work includes a supplementary commentary by a leading critic, artist, writer, professor or curator in the field of new media. The program on the disc:

  • Bird-Cams by Sam Easterson [commentary by D. Incandela & D. Mayes]
  • Stethy by Eric Freeman [commentary by Cory Smithson]
  • Untitled (cubicle) by Jacob Galle [commentary by Matthew Minelli]
  • Untitled by Pam Larson [commentary by Meg Rotzel]
  • Wilderness Trouble V1.0 by Cary Peppermint, Christine Nadir [commentary by Joline Blais & Jon Ippolito]
  • 33 Fiddles by Gwyan Rhabyt [commentary by Elizabeth McDougal]
  • Trick Saddle by Jenny Rogers [commentary by Saul Ostrow ]
  • Canal Walk by Markiz Wernli Saito [commentary by Deborah J. Mantle ]
  • I Know The Way! by Thomas Toomey [commentary by Tim Norris]

More information on the Aspect website.

Recommended for all libraries.