Outsmart the Art

Art is supposed to be moving, but a new four-part exhibit at Yerba Buena inverts the relationship, so that viewers move the art, or the art moves all by itself. Collaborative digital technology artists Margaret Crane, Dale MacDonald, Scott Minneman, and Jon Winet take the passivity out of gallerygoing with their installation "Nightfall," a series of soap opera-like dramatic tableaux digitally broadcast on big screens around the room. The movement of viewers through the room sets off sensors that alter the action on-screen, creating a shifting digital story accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack and dramatic lighting. "Commotion," the work of former performance artist Martin Kersels, includes a series of film stills and loops incorporating performance art experiments, like the film of Kersels repeatedly tripping in public and the reaction of people around him. Kersels, a sort of mad scientist in the art realm, also offers a singing desk and a baby grand piano that winches its way across the gallery floor. These exhibits show with "Whipper Snapper Nerd: Work From Creativity Explored" and "Photo Backdrops: The George C. Berticevich Collection," which proves that Americans aren't the only people to take family portraits against kitschy backdrops. The exhibits open with a party featuring live music and dance performances and film screenings beginning at 7 p.m. Friday (the exhibits officially open Saturday morning at 11 a.m.) at the Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$10; call 978-ARTS. In conjunction with the show, Kersels plays basketball with viewers and fields trivia questions in the performance piece Approaching: Martin Kersels -- Death Caps/One-on-One, or In Search of Obscure & Dangerous Desire. It begins at 4 p.m. Sunday at Headlands Center for the Arts, 944 Fort Barry, Sausalito. Admission is free-$5; call 331-2787. (

 
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