Monday, March 25, 2013

Lonely Watchers


If you're looking for something to do during your lunch hour this week, please consider a virtual visit to Violet Strays to view Pacific Standard Magazine's contribution (with creative direction by yours truly) to the online gallery's exhibition series, coinciding with the Frye Art Museum's current show, "Chamber Music."

The final product was pieced together with video footage gathered over a 24-hour period in three Northwest locations. It was also my first foray into video, and to say that I encountered problems along the way would be an understatement. But it was a fantastically absorbing project and interesting - or at least a good exercise in Zen - to let the piece's final form determine itself to a certain extent. (And, possibly more importantly, a great excuse for a couple of Northwest weekend road trips.)

If you miss Pacific Standard's contribution please return to Violet Strays between now and May 5 to see the other pieces in the series; a schedule of contributors can be found here. I love the premise behind the gallery, which was founded by artists Serrah Russell (also a contributor to "Chamber Music") and Alyssa Volpigno in 2011. The online space forgoes archiving its artists' work, thus requiring viewers to see a piece while it is up, or miss it forever. This emphasis on the transitory feels so fresh to me, in a time when it seems like everything can be found or discovered and nothing is ever truly gone for good. At the same time, the fleeting nature of the work the space presents seems perfectly in keeping with the time we live in, where staying very long in the present moment is increasingly hard to do.

"Chamber Music," curated by Frye Deputy Director Scott Lawrimore, features the work of thirty-six Seattle artists, each of whom created new work in response to musical compositions based on James Joyce's poetry collection by the same name. The exhibit runs through May 5.

For more information on Violet Strays, read Amanda Manitach's piece for City Arts magazine.