Something About a Ditto Device…

by Art Fag City on April 25, 2006 Events

Foxy Production will have learn to love AFC despite the fact that we are probably single handedly responsible for eating up their allocated bandwidth for the month. Last night we spent the majority of our time pressing the reload on Michael Bell-Smith’s new videos and sending them to friends, crossing what may be some sort of “learning about the work” line at Foxy’s expense. I can only hope that they look at this as a cost associated with advertising, and don’t hold this against us indefinitely.

At the risk of making redundant statements, the reason we spent so much time on the reload button is because the staff at AFC (which currently consists of me) think Bell-Smith’s work is great. And for once I can confidently say that about a video artist without having to rely on a dim memory of work I saw years ago, and a still that manages to relay a fraction of it’s meaning. Thanks to Foxy (and ArtCat) we can now casually pass judgment on video we haven’t seen in person the same way we do with paintings, as they have made QuickTime videos of their artists work available online. To the best of my knowledge, they are the first gallery to do this, a decision that seems long overdue in the art world. Given the fact that a webready video is equivelent to a jpeg in terms of image quality, and no one is making the argument that capturing a jpeg is the same thing as owning the original photograph (or whatever the object happens to be) there is very little reason not make artist videos available on the web. I spoke to Foxy about their rational behind this morning, and they described this move as a natural one because it enables them to send video work to clients much more efficiently. In addition to this, it means that the medium will finally become widely available to the public and press, inciting a more meaningful dialogue.

It is probably worth mentioning that the reason I called Foxy in the first place, was to confirm that some of the videos were clips, and to find out if they would be placing the full length videos on their site (after all, providing a thirty second clip of movie on a site is rather timid trailer blazing). The answer was music to my ears. I am told that the works posted are previews to the show, and the full videos will be available on line when the exhibition opens, (apparently some of the work was still evolving when it was posted). For those who are interested, the video times cited on the website are the actual lengths of the pieces, so one way to tell if you are looking at a clip if it isn’t obvious is to compare the time provided in the cataloguing information with time of the piece you are watching (Some Houses Have Pools for example is currently an excerpt).


On a vaguely related note, having just written a post about image reproduction for media artists I can’t help but notice that the gallery that should be most concerned about this (Postmasters), has an almost useless website. Given the fact that they represent techy artists you’d think that having a website that demonstrates some literacy in the medium would be of importance to them.

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