June 12, 2005

Still from, Temporary Life #1

Originally uploaded by avaenlle.

"Plugged In," by Isabel Anderson, A Review from ArtScene Magazione

Unlike the Russian Constructivists who had a utopian socialist agenda, contemporary artists use technology in less programmatic and more open-ended ways. Today the merging of machine and aesthetic vision has lost the controversial edge it had thirty years ago in the famous Art and Technology exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum. Then curator of modern art Maurice Tuchman noted that there was a typically American “. . .frank, or even ironical attitude towards the machine. . .albeit with a certain romantic or comic nuance.” Tuchman explored a linkage between aritsts and engineers, advancing the development of creative ideas that were otherwise not possible due to great expense or lack of information.

Today’s art/technology matrix is so taken for granted that we tend to look through it. So immediate and personal has our connection to technology become that it has become something of an invisible screen. In art today mechanical things have become aesthetic objects in their own right. Plugged In offers a look at these changes as well as a cross section of current technological works that share a sharpness, humor, together with poetic insights. Curator Kathryn Hackman, not seeking to mount an exhaustive survey, includes six artists whose selections are able to stand alone without infringing on the space or atmosphere of their neighbors.

Ana-Victoria Aenlle’s ten minute black and white video is dead-pan but affecting, filmed as a series of abstract scenes from a moving train. Reflections of landscape and a minimal human presence mirror the fragmentary nature of modern life.