jim campbell at the berkeley art museum

this recently-acquired piece by jim campbell is now on display at the berkeley art museum:

jim campbell is an m.i.t.-educated engineer who makes artwork that deals with information — the way it is stored, communicated and perceived. since 2000, he’s been making artworks that use so few L.E.D.s (more than a thousand times fewer than the number of pixels on your computer screen) that a viewer shouldn’t understand what they’re seeing. but because of the brain’s ability to interpret abstract data and “fill in” the gaps in the information needed to create a complete idea, the moving image can be discerned. by abstracting the data into this extremely low-resolution form, he’s manipulating our voyeuristic tendencies — revealing information and at the same time obscuring it…

this large-scale piece, from a series he calls “home movies” utilizes clips from found, vintage home movies (believing that while home movies are very personal, everyone’s look the same) which are made visible through the flickering l.e.d.s which reflect off the wall (think plato’s allegory of the cave). not only a gorgeous piece, but a conceptually brilliant one.

jim campbell “home movies 920-1” 2007, custom electronics, 920 l.e.d.s and found home movie footage, 17×24 feet. i shot this video and david stroud edited it.