The Video Art That Took Over Under Lockdown
21 May 2020
With audiences in many parts of the world unable to visit galleries and museums, online video projects have garnered unprecedented attention.
Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki, 2 Lizards (2020). Courtesy the artists.
Increasingly, troves of video art such as the Julia Stoschek Collection and regular streams from the likes of the Istanbul Biennial are being made available online in response to gallery and museum closures. Several have received outsized attention.
2 Lizards by Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki
Moroccan-born artist Meriem Bennani and Israel-born Orian Barki's 2 Lizards (2020) might be the most keenly observed COVID-19 art project so far, remarkable for an Instagram series that feels like HBO's High Maintenance reimagined with characters from Animal Crossing. With six episodes so far, 2 Lizards has been 'the most on-the-nose, accurate, what-it-feels-like-to-be-in-New-York-City-during-this-quarantine-period cultural product,' Rujeko Hockley, an assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, told the New York Times. Hockley was one of the curators of the 2019 Whitney Biennial, which included Bennani.
Kate Lain's Cabin Fever list
What began as suggested viewing for students in a video art class at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, has snowballed into one of the most expansive and eclectic collections of video art and experimental films online. Crowd-sourced by multi-disciplinary artist Kate Lain, works on the Cabin Fever list are organised under headings such as 'For when you need to laugh or smile' and 'For when you just want to scream or break something'.
Well Now WTF by Silicon Valet
Faith Holland, Lorna Mills and Wade Wallerstein curated this hilarious, bizarre, brilliant exploration of Internet art and aesthetics through over 120 GIFs and videos. A YouTube playlist of 38 videos from the show swings in mood from Guido Segni's collection of clips of people exclaiming 'oh my god!' and 'oh my gosh!' in OMG! Today I Prayed for the Internet (2016) to the extravagant, compensatory relaxation of Chris Collins' virtual reality RNR (2020), which includes audio from 'ASMRican Life' and candles with names like 'The Week Between Christmas and New Year's'. —[O]