Yesterday was the opening of Fronting Motion at Esther Klein Gallery. It was really great to hear people’s reactions again. People like the work so much. They say it feels like being in more than one place at the same time. They feel like the world of data, that is surrounding us, now also can lead to a meditative experience. They really enjoyed the realism of the car sounds, as opposed to the abstract visualization. They say: the space you leave for us as an audience, to have our own interpretation of the experience is so great. At the end of the evening, when the traffic on both sides became fairly quiet, people again enjoyed it as the landscape is mesmerizing and the expectation of something “going to happen” depending on the reality “out there” was very delightful and powerful.
Hana Iverson commented on the work: “The harbor sight draws inspiration from the Dutch landscape, while the cars are emblematic of the American landscape. And we as an audience are in this expansive space… between both….”
Ivar and Hana continued talking about data and the use of it in art projects and how this connects art with the issues of our techno-society. They spoke about the tendency within media arts to stress this, to be political, activist even…. Ivar stated that he once was very touched by the approach of “the politics ” in Tuner’s painting “The Slave Ship,” where only on closer inspection does one see what is really going on. The political meaning is presented in the second layer, and thus not “in the face” of the audience. The issue as such is incomparable, but the construction of the politics within the work is of inspiration, especially for this abstract and aesthetic work, Fronting Motion.
We hope the balance is right. But from the reactions we think it is. People were even thankful, to have been able to see it. As are we. It is a great work to show. It does very well in such an exhibition situation.
Fronting Motion, an internet-based artwork by PolakVanBekkum, will be on display at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery July 18 – August 16, 2014. The gallery, which is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, is located at 3600 Market Street in Philadelphia.
Fronting Motion presents real-time visualization of cars driving in the UK contrasted with live data of ships passing through the Southampton, England harbour. The two realities merge into a panorama of a contemporary landscape. In the west, cars are coming right at you at full speed. In the east, you overlook the slow arrival and departure of ships in the harbour. In addition to the visual animation, this data also generates sound clips which produce a constant noise.