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If you could film it, what would collective memory look like? It might resemble a work by Kota Ezawa, the S.F. artist who takes culturally significant films, such as the Zapruder footage of Kennedy’s assassination, and digitally paints over them to create a cartoonish version. The method is effective precisely because it mimics what human memory does, washing away detail in favor of broad strokes and simplified, dramatic contrast. Ezawa's work shows this month in "The Temporal Moving Image." Fellow Bay Area video artist Alan Rath supplies his screens with robotic bodies that often vibrate and undulate disturbingly. If Ezawa strips his footage of messy life, Rath manages to give his a weird biology. Both are following in the footsteps of seminal video artist Nam June Paik, under whom Ezawa studied in Germany. Paik, who died in 2006, pioneered the stacking of video screens (one of his most famous works is the 1960s-era Video Flag, made up of 70 CRT monitors), and combining them with other media. Paik's work has clearly permeated the collective memory of artists, and this show proves the hive mind is a live one.
Oct. 18-Nov. 10, 2007

 
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