words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “Installation

Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)

Sometimes moments in time are like the possession of precious jewels only remembered briefly…..

My latest video entitled “Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)” starts off with clips from previous videos and a multimedia performance before evolving into my most recent ventures of 2012; finding new forms in the mountains of Western North Carolina. My early video work began back in 1988. Of course there were no digital cameras, and we had to use those large, bulky, VHS Cameras. At the time I was fortunate to have some rather unique video editing software, and hardware courtesy of my Amiga 1000 digital suite and the third-party supplier of a video mixer called the Genlock. Now with a HD digital camera, there is much higher resolution, creating a more definitive, sharper image. I recently purchased the Avid Studio Pro video software, and hope that the quality, and versatility will yield several levels of high performance (within a modest price range).

One of the major traits in the processing of my previous video work, has been my ability to layer video sources. So I am looking forward to using this new capability (the latest digital hardware and software) to continue this process. In the end I hope to create thought-provoking video imagery that is abstract, ambient. and minimalistic.

So I hope you enjoy what I think may be a transitional video on the path to new ideas, and processes.

Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)….

http://youtu.be/6ti_CrYaRzk

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Windows at Highwire Gallery – Island, Water, Bridge exhibit 1993….

What illumination, the light shinning through; creating the perfect ambience for the found art installation.

The windows at highwire gallery - the second street art building


Weekly Photo Challenge: Opportunity 02

I took this photo during a 1993 lecture and art exhibit of my latest work at Atlantic Community College in Mays Landing, NJ. The lecture was a demonstration of various digital processing elements for the creation of digital art and video art. It was a great opportunity to talk with the students and introduce them to digital art. In 1993 digital art was just beginning to grow as a valid artist medium to many, and I was happy to share my knowledge, take questions, and inspire these would-be artists.

In the photo a Commodore Amiga 1000 computer, Super Gen video mixer, and a Panasonic camera for scanning photographs. Yes, times have changed, and now artists have access to more sophisticated hardware and software.

Artist lecture at Atlantic Community College 1993


Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

A broken world view

This week’s photo challenge is “broken”.  The image I selected for this challenge is a
photographic still of my 1991 video installation presented at Highwire Gallery
entitled “The World Spins Black / White”. The 1991 installation was an
examination of—and condemnation of the forces of civil disobedience, war, and
social unrest that our society was struggling with at the time. The motivation
for choosing this photograph, at this specific point, is the state of our political
union here in the United States and abroad. At the core, I believe is a broken democracy.

The world is changing and it can be
argued not for the best. There is an ideology that threatens to disrupt, dismantle,
and delineate our democracy and freedom.  That dismantling presents itself in many
different forms, with a variety of sponsors. Here in the United States, I
believe its greatest sponsor is right wing conservatism at its extreme,
supported by various proxy organizations, and funded by wealthy individuals
such as the Koch brothers. At the heart of the process with malice intent are
the reduction and perhaps even the elimination of our government i.e. the way
it functions and the services it provides. Hence there is the privatizing and
systematic assault on the public sector, with the goal being the transference
of wealth from the many to the few. In league with the machinations to
facilitate these insidious methods are corporate media moguls, right wing think
tanks and Tea Party legislators to name a few.

My image for this challenge “broken” is a world globe,
wrapped in barbed wire and decaying red roses.

“The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities
only if we make ourselves responsible for that future”. … Gifford Pinchot


Post Canvas and Paint 03: The Whipping Machine Acid Flex Dance Remix

The Whipping Machine Acid Flex Dance Remix 1989 / 2010

http://youtu.be/rvSKJjCkVx0  Youtube video

In continuing the Post Canvas and Paint series, I am presenting a video piece entitled The Whipping Machine Acid Flex Dance Remix 1989 / 2010. It is a video art abstraction created as a video segment of The Whipping Machine, a multi-media performance of modern dance theatre performed at The Painted Bride Art Center in June of 1989 in Philadelphia. Utilizing the Amiga 1000 computer and multi-layering soft and hardware effects, I explore the pulsating ambient rhythm of marbled abstraction. In this segment the video represents the mesmerizing intoxication and manipulation by the industrial complex on the masses. Today I am posting this piece as a reflection of our current political and economic struggles.

Stay informed and stand up to tyranny and deception.


Post Canvas and Paint 02: in the lightness of being blue

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As an artist, I am sometimes feeling a little blue and uncertain about to which idea I need to explore. It is then that I find the process of creating which I use in my ongoing Post Canvas and Paint series liberating. That ambiguity found “in the lightness of being blue” is washed away amid the beauty of finding an intuitive way of moving from one image to another.

In this particular Post Canvas and Paint series, I start with numerous paused video images of works from my past installations and performances. They are photographed or captured digitally and remixed for this series.

The color blue dominates the vision and feeling of the series. It is the starting element that embodies each image. While the color blue sets the mood for this particular Post Canvas and Paint series, what is consistent throughout all of them is the organic and the patterned designs. As I have stated in previous writings (artist summary @ website: newdigitalscapes.com) on the methodology of the series, it is my intent to remain true to the digital process i.e. recognizing and imploring the intricate, microtonal possibilities inherent to the computer. I take this approach by allowing the computer to contribute its infinite source of geometric abstractions, digital glitches, visual drones, disintegrating loops of color and focus, underlying beats and rhythms, and tonal variations.

The most important thing I would like to achieve in this process is establishing a rhythm in my own inner intuition—feeling the next step and incorporating it into the another image. This is the objective of the series i.e. for each image to move effortlessly to the next….

It is adding while becoming, and finally, being no different from the previous as a whole.


In memory of Robert Wulbrecht / a distinguished Highwire Artist

Robert working on translucent screens in preparation for the 19 American Artist exhibit in Berkgerk, Deventer in the Netherlands.

This post is dedicated to the memory of an artist that I came to know quite well during our stint as members of Highwire Gallery.  The digital image I created here is from a photograph taken while several artists were preparing for the exhibit at the Bergkerk Gallery. There were a number of screens (I do believe three) that Robert created. When light was transmitted through the multiple screens they projected the image designed on the screens rather beautifully.  One of my fondest memories of Robert was during our show at the Black Banana in downtown Philadelphia, January 7th 1994. Robert and I and fellow artist, Marita Fitzpatrick produced mixed media paintings and drawings. I created a video montage. During the time Robert and I knew one another we talked often about the creative arts, and its meaning and impact on our society.

Robert will be missed.  His Spirit infused with love for life and art passed on from this plane of existence a few years back.

An alternative look at Robert in the process of creating the piece


19 Amerikaanse Kunstenaars / 19 American Artists / Bergkerk, Deventer 1990

Jessie Lyle, Constance kocs, kimberly Hunter, Pat Sprott, Joanna Hartell, Mary Clark, Robert Phillips, Roni Chernin, Mark Stolte

19 Amerikaanse Kunstenaars / 19 American Artists in Bergkerk Deventer the Netherlands. Tentoostelling Van Hedendeaagse Belldendekunst / Exhibition of Contemporary Art. 1 Juli T/M 22 Juli 1990.

What a fantastic photograph of some of the members that exhibited in Holland. Thanks Joanna for the photograph. I slightly altered the image to bring out the color and bring it up to date for my 2011 remix series featuring Highwire Artists. This post, and the blog in part, is dedicated to the artists of Highwire. Over the years, the collaborative sense of Highwire has always been the driving force of its creativity and its strength. Let’s stay connected, so please subscribe to this post, and you will get an email when new posts are created and posted.  I feel very motivated to pursue this project on the blog, and its success will be in part because of your contributions. So leave comments, send me photographs (via Facebook or email) and bring back memories for us all.


Reconnecting with members of Highwire Gallery

Found art exhibit from the "Island" on the Delaware River

It has been an interesting past few days. Via Facebook, I have been able to start reconnecting with members of Highwire Gallery.  In the late 1980’s a group of artists joined together to create the Philadelphia Artists Cooperative which later became Highwire Gallery Inc. An innovative and cutting edge group of artists began finding unique places to exhibit their work in downtown Philadelphia. Some shows were in abandoned lumber yards and cathedrals, market places like the Reading Terminal, and various galleries, historical locales and even a found art exhibit on an island on the Delaware River. During this period, a bond among the artists, and a direction for the cooperative was formed. A permanent locale was founded in 1990 at the 2nd Street Art Building. The 2nd Street Art Building was a distinct hub of creativity with its housing of four galleries in Old City Philadelphia. Throughout the years and to this day Highwire, with its ever-changing host of artists, remains a vibrant and fresh creative force in Philadelphia.

I hope through this blog to connect with my fellow Highwire artists and invite them to talk about our experience together and their own creative pursuits since leaving the group. I am also interested in the thoughts and ideas of the artists that have sustained and promoted the co-op to this present day.  As time evolves, it remains vitally important that our connection to our past is remembered, and that the ideas of those who hold the future of Highwire past through us all. In doing so we bring together as one, the words, vision, and thoughts that sustain us and the legacy of the Philadelphia Artist Cooperative.