Zilvinas Kempinas. Courtesy of Spencer Brownstone Gallery.
Zilvinas Kempinas’s White Noise represents a monumental new development of Kempinas’ series of sculptural installations employing his signature medium of unspooled video tape.
Upon entering the darkened gallery space, viewers are confronted with a large screen of ‘white noise’ on the gallery’s end wall. The screen vibrates with the fragmented black and white pixels we associate with an untuned video source, and a low hum and flickering sound reinforce the connotation. As we move forward, the screen takes on more and more the character of a dazzling optical effect and disorienting immersive environment.
Even as we near its surface (and gradually become aware that the screen is, in fact, an opening in the wall stretched with horizontal lines of videotape vibrating rapidly in the currents of air created by a series of fans), the piece continues to mesmerize and confound, a remarkable visual experience that is quite literally redundant to describe in words. Recalling at once the sublime minimalism of Robert Irwin and Joseph Kosuth’s tautological mind games, ‘White Noise’ poses a transfixing visual conundrum with a deft metaphorical play on tape as both physical object and container of information.