Cleveland State Community College exhibit meshes art, technology

Cleveland State Community College exhibit meshes art, technology

April 8th, 2013 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Attendees at the Friday reception for Cleveland State Community College's "Accessibility2013: CMD+R" watched an interactive media performance by artist Rosa Menkman of Amsterdam. Here, a woman's face looks beyond a veil of pulsing and dissolving video images and text.

Photo by Paul Leach /Times Free Press.

Artist and technologist Tyson Parks takes digital images of a playback of "As Seen On TV," a video-within-a-video sequence he created from a collection of infomercials and copies of the work being played back.

Artist and technologist Tyson Parks takes digital images...

Photo by Paul Leach /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Experimental digital imagery took center stage during Cleveland State Community College's "Accessiblity2013: CMD+R," a two-week program dedicated to engaging the public with creative marriages of technology and art.

Last week, the school held a reception for works created on campus by a handful of visiting interactive media artists. The artists lived at the college and visited local schools for the event, punctuating two weeks of talks, lectures and films regarding technology-driven arts.

"Accessibility was created to make the arts accessible to the public by removing it from the gallery space and placing it in the community," organizer Mark McLeod, assistant professor of art at Cleveland State, said in a news release.

"With emerging trends such as virtual reality, video, cloud solutions, 3D printing, game design, digital photography and video and interactive new media, technology in the arts is at the forefront of cutting edge visual arts making," he said.

Friday's reception included an abstract audio-visual show at the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center performed by Dutch artist/theorist Rosa Menkman. The work -- a sequence of pulsing and dissolving images and real-time text -- was an example of what she described as "part-planned, part-accidental."

"It's like life," said Menkman of the composition, which featured images of a young woman and a garden intermixed with images created by compressions, feedback and glitches.

Tyson Parks, who describes himself as "an artist and a technologist," added yet another layer to his video-within-a-video work titled "As Seen On TV," capturing images of his creation as it played back on a television monitor in the cultural center.

He said he got his inspiration for the work while visiting Lily's As Seen On TV, a store that sells items featured in TV infomercials.

"It was rather surreal to listen to the infomercials hawking their items on the dozen TV sets in the store," said Parks. "It was like what you might think of the shouting on the Wall Street market floor."

Several people at the reception praised the program and the dynamics of interactive media as art.

"Digital media gives us more ways to connect with each other's thoughts and communicate with people," said Cleveland State art student William White.

Although the artists have departed, their works will be presented for another month, McLeod said. Details have not been finalized, but Cleveland State will feature the works for two more weeks and then Lee University will do the same.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at