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Oh the Weight of it All

Rooftop Media
210 Cook Street, Rooftop, 412-443-5758
August 25 - August 26, 2006
Reception: Friday, August 25, 7:30 - 10 PM
Web Site

Ian Epps, Darrin Martin, Shana Moulton, Blithe Riley, Eva Teppe, and JD Walsh present a series of looping video and sound works designed specifically for rooftop installation. Centered on the theme “gravity,” the works collectively comment on the physical and psychological impact this invisible force has on human navigation and perception.

Sound artist Ian Epps premieres his new sound sculpture, Untitled in which balloon-like `Ashrams’ float suspended in the air. Headphones link the listener to the object broadcasting Epps’s new original compositions. The piece is both meditative and metaphorical evoking an illustrative study of an individual’s personal sanctuary, dream-like states of emotional release, and the conflict of being firmly planted to the ground.

Darrin Martin’s new work was initially inspired by a book-on-tape version of James Gleick’s Isaac Newton bought at a truck stop. His video Sensorial Principia, “celebrates the specialization of knowledge through the rubbing of an iconic pinnacle of scientific achievement against the artistic ambivalence of the human body.” Martin’s work questions the access points, as well as the goals of the producers and distributors of human knowledge.

Shana Moulton’s video Inside the Mountain Where Everything is Upside-Down presents an interior space that resembles a familiar domestic setting but exhibits physical properties that defy the laws of nature. Household rituals meant to reduce stress trigger a disruption in the space-time continuum, causing objects in the room to have supernatural properties. The bewildered protagonist unsuccessfully attempts to restore natural order to the space until she accepts its irrational logic.

Blithe Riley’s site-specific video projection uses looping repetition to highlight the labor of repetitive action. In Wat(h)er Fall, a performer moves through an old twenty-foot metal frame defunct water tower base, in an endless and goalless journey. The journey is broken into time frames, mirrored by the structural frames that dissect the physical object.

In Half Asleep, Eva Teppe works with various modes of extremely decelerated motion. By manipulating footage of “base-jumpers” performing their skydives, the artist dispels all sense of the danger posed by such reckless leaps. The “base-jumper” is made to look like a diver gliding through a fluid biotope, giving the impression of a sleepwalker, This mood is further heightened by the soundtrack composed by Finnish musician Mika Vainio.

In JD Walsh’s Weekend, leisurely city dwellers engage in various weekend activities. The electronically removed background emphasizes and exaggerates the mundane tasks that we know as “free time”. Actions become unhinged from their environments, gestures freed from governing laws of physics and society. For Oh, the Weight of it All Walsh presents “Weekend (reprise)”, a two-channel version, in which these gestures are presented alongside those found in interior spaces, further complicating role of the body in and out of doors.

Exhibition opens at sundown each evening.
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