Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell


September 3 – October 23, 2005

Educated as an electrical engineer at M.I.T., new media artist Jim Campbell explores sensory perception through technology. In the Ambiguous Icons series displayed here, Campbell creates custom grids of L.E.D. lights diffused by Plexiglass to approximate the appearance of grainy video.

The works featured in the exhibition focus on the point when motion becomes intelligible, and the chaos and binary coding are transformed into meaningful information. Additionally, Campbell ’s work often features subjects alluding to family portraiture or media representation: “Church on Fifth Avenue” uses slowed-down video footage of a Lower Manhattan crosswalk in front of a church shot during the week following September 11, 2001 . While technically complex in their execution, the pieces are quiet, contemplative explorations into how we see the world today.

He writes of his work, “Wave Modulation”, “This work incorporates low resolution and time variation to look at the notion of visual abstraction. The image gradually changes its speed over a 20-minute period, going from real time to still. This time processing takes place live, such that the still images that are seen at the end of the cycle are always different.” And of “Church On Fifth Avenue”: “A matrix of 32 x 24 (768) pixels made out of red LEDs displaying a pedestrian and auto traffic scene in NY from an off street perspective. There is a sheet of diffusing Plexiglass angled in front of the grid. As the pedestrians move from left to right the figures gradually go from a discrete representation to a continuous one (or metaphorically from a digital representation to an analog one).”

Jim Campbell is a San Francisco-based new media artist. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in solo shows at Site Santa Fe in NM; The Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, CA; and the Nagoya City Art Museum in Japan; and in group shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC; the Fabric Museum in Philadelphia, PA; the Wexner Art Center in Columbus, OH; and the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria; among others. Public collections featuring his work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, CA; and Austin Museum of Art in Austin, TX. Additionally, Campbell received a Guggenheim Fellowship Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Award, and two Langlois Foundation Grants. His work is represented by the Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco , CA .

Following its presentation at CPW, this exhibition traveled to the Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.