The McCoys

The McCoys

April 6, 2005 7:00 PM - 7:00 PM

EVENT START TIME: 7:30pm LOCATION: West Hall Auditorium Is meaning an intrinsic element that exists in and of itself, or is meaning created through associations and consequences? Video installation artists and RPI alumni Jenn and Kevin McCoy will discuss their opinion on the subject in their lecture titled Learning to Watch, an eye-opening and amusing talk on their video projects that explore the creation of meaning. An improvisational music piece will open for the McCoys, performed by senior EMAC major John Durgee and Dr. Pauline Oliveros. There will be a gallery reception at 6:30pm in West Hall Gallery 111 preceding the lecture that will feature the McCoy’s work, in addition to other local artists. Jenn and Kevin McCoy’s art explores the concept of created meaning, as opposed to inherent meaning. The couple creates installations, performances and net art, using manipulated video and audio samples as their artistic medium. Their work interprets mainstream visual culture by cross-referencing and reconstituting original material into a non-linear repository of content. They fragment, store and analyze the content, separating a unified and coherent work into individual pieces. They then use the collision of individual film images in a machine generated order to create a novel experience whose meaning is defined in the linear juxtaposition of chosen images. These machine-generated ideas often express cultural manifestations and meanings with more irony and truth than the original unaided artistic vision. Husband and wife team Jenn and Kevin McCoy have been a new media artistic collaborator team since 1990. The two came to RPI and completed their Master of Fine Art degrees in 1994. Together they have made a wide range of film, video, installations and performances that explore the cultural expression of technology in society. Their joint projects have been shown in both the US and Europe. ::ARTIST STATEMENT:: For more information on Jenn and Kevin McCoy, visit www.mccoyspace.com/. Jennifer and Kevin McCoy are new media artists. Their work plays upon the capacity of new technology to fragment, store, and analyze audio and video material. Resulting projects include installations, performances, and net art that explore ideas of genre, interactivity, and automation. In New York City, their work has been exhibited at P.S.1, Postmasters Gallery, The New Museum, and The Swiss Institute. Commissioned projects include net art projects for The Walker Art Center, The Alternative Museum, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. International exhibitions include the ISEA festival in Manchester and screenings in Poland, Japan, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Holland. In 2001 they received an award for New Media from the Colbert Foundation and in 1999 they received the New York Foundation for the Arts grant in computer arts. Articles about their work have appeared in Spin Magazine, Feed, and The Independent. Jennifer and Kevin McCoy live and work in New York City and received MFA degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. www.michelethursz.com/site/port.php?name=mccoy Winners of the 2005 Wired Rave Awards: Jennifer & Kevin McCoy for turning media crit into pop art www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/rave.html?pg=12&topic=rave&topic_se ::PROJECTS:: SOFT RAINS—May 2004—(an exhibition of miniature movie sets for live robotic cinema) For more information on SOFT RAINS, visit www.postmastersart.com/archive/mccoysoft.html. In this new series of works, the McCoys present electronic installations that examine narrative spaces. Extending from previous work of data based television and film material, the artists new work further explores the idea that thought, experience and memory are structured through genre and repetition. Entering the gallery, the viewer sees seven platforms each containing a tiny fragmentary film set. The platforms each embody images and sounds from a particular cinematic genre (the eighties slasher, the fifties melodrama, the sixties art film, etc). The platform/genre scan each stand autonomously or together they produce a cinema-hopping amalgamation of themes and eras. Over 50 miniature video cameras and lights are suspended over the sets, creating a new filmic entity generated live. By exposing the film sets together with their film, the McCoys expose and yet retain the magic of movie making. We can see the working parts of the apparatus, but are still won over by the whole. The sets themselves are an exploded spatial view of what one experiences temporally in film. The images are shot by several cameras simultaneously, each from its own angle, each focused on a different area of the set, and the multipart compound of images that these cameras together create is then sent to a computer running custom software that picks from the range of choices, “editing” it into the seven movies. The McCoys handle the passage of time by spreading “actors” and locations out in space to represent different moments, which are then intercut onscreen to suggest movement in time and place. Each story is told in six to ten shots. OUR SECOND DATE—May 2004— For more information on OUR FIRST DATE, visit www.postmastersart.com/archive/mccoysoft.html. This piece extends the form of “Soft Rains” by including the artists themselves within the constructed narrative. In “Our Second Date”, the couple can be seen watching a movie, which is being created adjacent to them on a rotating set. This piece begins a new cycle of work which examines the role that media has played in the development of the artists' relationship. WE LIKE TO WATCH—MARCH 2002— For more information on WE LIKE TO WATCH, visit www.postmastersart.com/archive/mccoy.html. Jennifer and Kevin McCoy present a series of multimedia projects that address the intersection of television, narrative, and computer database. Beginning with" Every Shot, Every Episode" (2000) which transformed 20 episodes of "Starsky and Hutch" into an inventory of 300 categories, the McCoys have developed a distinctive artistic practice that brings the languages and techniques of digital production and Internet culture to the worlds of film and television viewing. In their work, the database is a collection of not only facts and files but also of more slippery ideas of genre, stereotypes, relationships, and representational techniques. McCoys interpret mainstream visual culture from the pre-digital era by cross-referencing and reconstituting the original material into a non-linear repository of content available, much like all computer data, for selective viewing and manipulation. "We like to watch" consists of five projects, four of which will be exhibited for the first time. "Horror Chase" is a one-shot horror film inspired by Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead2". The artists filmed a chase sequence on a 1000 square foot set they constructed on a Brooklyn soundstage. This film material is played back through custom computer software and hardware that constantly varies the speed and direction of the film in real time. The playback algorithm creates an endlessly recurring but never repeating, "Chase to end all chases". "448 is Enough" systematically, shot-by-shot, dissects a single episode of the 80's television program "Eight is Enough" to reveal the structure of television family drama, its clichés, and its interdependence with commercials. "Every Anvil" (2001) and "How I Learned" respectively inventory classic "Looney Tunes" animations from the post-war era and the 70s “eastern western" television series "Kung Fu". Here, the McCoys create a visual and sculptural database of television images that reveal life’s lessons learned from years of TV watching. Classification system for "Every Anvil" focuses on violence and extremism while the categories from "How I Learned" include “how I learned about ceremonies," “how I learned about blocking punches," “how I learned about exploiting workers," “how I learned to love the land." Directions to RPI and West Hall Auditorium: arts.rpi.edu/content/directions.html
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