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Jim Campbell, Seal Rock, 2010, LEDs, custom electronics, Duratrans, treated Plexiglass, edition 2/3. Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul. Courtesy of the artist and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Moving Image: Landscape

December 3, 2016 - March 26, 2017

Moving Image: Landscape explores traditional notions of landscape through four very different time-based works by artists Jim Campbell, Antti Laitinen, Joanie Lemercier, and Rick Silva.

Campbell’s recent body of work, including Seal Rock, presents pixilated images of landscapes created with grids of LEDs. The low-resolution LEDs create a tension between representation and abstraction, provoking viewers to interpret visual information on their own. In the three-channel video It’s My Island Laitinen builds his own island in the Baltic Sea by dragging two hundred sand bags into the water over a period of three months. The work explores ideas of nationality, citizenship, and identity as the artist creates his own single-citizen micro-nation. Lemercier’s computer-generated print Landform 10 uses patterns of black dots and projected light to create the illusion of three-dimensionality and movement when seen from a distance. The effects are more realistic than a still image, but still unsettlingly artificial. Silva’s Render Garden explores the digitized landscape, including remix and glitch aesthetics, through software that endlessly generates new plant combinations.

Throughout the next year UMMA will present three exhibitions drawn from the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection in Istanbul. The Borusan’s thirty-year-old collection includes significant works across a variety of genres, and since 2011 it has focused on media arts. The works exhibited here address formal concerns such as abstraction and color, and conceptual topics such as identity or ecological issues; many represent traditional categories such as portraiture and landscape that find new resonance when explored through the strategies of dynamic technology.


Lead support for Moving Image: Landscape is provided by the Susan and Richard Gutow Fund, the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment, and the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities and Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.