Last week, a group of California College of the Arts MFA students travelled to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for a whirlwind residency and show.
We thoroughly immersed ourselves in Las Vegas and produced an exhibition of entirely new, experimental works at UNLV’s Grant Hall Gallery.
In the spirit of the graduate class that produced the seminal “Learning from Las Vegas”
(MIT Press, 1977), we had both a productive and super-fun time.
My video collaboration "Measuring Visual Disturbances" with Elizabeth Moran will be screened at SOMArts on Friday October 10, 2014 as part of the "Visions at Twilight" exhibition. For this piece, Elizabeth and I conducted a paranormal investigation of the old Bay Bridge.
On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, on the 77th anniversary of its opening, crews began dismantling the eastern span of the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland, California.
In this video piece, we invite viewers to sit and pay homage to a Bay Area cultural icon. As you reflect on your own memories of the bridge, watch the laser grid on the left and take note of any small changes, like a flicker, which paranormal investigators believe is evidence of a lingering presence.
Measuring Visual Disturbances (Bay Bridge) from Erica Molesworth on Vimeo.
Janice Ahn, Bae Hyun Ji, Zack Eastburg & Yoon Sun Lee,
Come by and see my video alongside some amazing artists.
Sunday, Oct 6:
Video Screenings - Noon to 4:30 PM
Artists: Doug Garth Williams, Sonja Hinrichsen, Bessma Khalaf, Kate Klingbeil, Ellen Lake, Sanaz Mazinani, Erica Molesworth, Ranu Mukherjee, Jennie Ottinger, and Osvaldo Ramirez.
ERICA MOLESWORTH JUST
SOUND BY GINO
1 - 18 2012
The works in this exhibition
represent a search for value in the context of the Australian landscape.
The video work Sift as well as the two still photographs,
Sifted #1 & 2, depict a process
in which the clear-cut separation between by-product and desired product is muddied.
When panning for gold, for example, sifting assists in washing away the dirt
and dross, catching the valuable gold in the mesh. In a process of purification, however, the
sieve acts to filter the impurities, allowing only the desired product to pass
through. In these works, the desired
product of this act of sifting is left deliberately ambiguous. In one image, the artist rather hopelessly passes
small quantities of sand through a sieve in the midst of a seemingly endless
quarry. In another, the artist sifts
through quantities of Australia's iconic red earth which floats away without
leaving anything discernible behind. Behind
this is the knowledge that decisions concerning value are usually made before a
process begins, and, if notions of value change during that process, there is
no way to recapture what has been filtered out and lost.
Loss as the corollary of a
search for value is also represented by the video work Smoke Signal and the still Signalled.
Almost as iconic as red earth in Australian landscape is the fear of getting
lost. A smoke signal, when assisting in
locating something lost, similarly draws its value from smoke's ability to
dissipate in the air. Despite the value
gained, this dissipation leads to a half-serious desire to draw back in and
re-capture what has been lost.
Mining for gold has always
been a major search within Australian landscape. The photographs Passing over
#3 (gold mine) and Passing over #4 (tailings dam)
depict Cadia gold mine from the air. In
Cadia, the gold-copper mineralization is hosted by sheeted quartz veins, which
is extracted using an 870-metre-deep open pit mine combined with bulk flotation
& gravity processing over 535 hectares. Such use of the landscape prompts obvious
questions regarding value and loss. In
both small-scale gold-panning and open-pit mining, quartz is seen as a sign of
gold deposits but is then crushed or filtered out and discarded. The video work, Quartz, seeks to reverse the usual perception of value through
focussing on this valueless waste-product of gold-mining. Here, quartz becomes the primary product and
is seen falling away as if passing through a sifting process.
For many, the defining factor
in the relationship with landscape is that of tourism. For the tourist, the
search for value is strictly delimited and, with new technology, increasingly
opposed to getting lost. The notion that
our actions and processes determine our relationship with landscape becomes
replaced by heavily codified tourist rituals, the most notable of which is
taking photographs. Aerial photography,
and its successor satellite photography, is the best way to locate something
and to avoid getting lost. It gives the
viewer a comprehensive sense of landscape, but one that is necessarily
characterised by distance, disconnection and just passing through. After
photography, the view from a plane window is perhaps the most characteristic
element of contemporary tourism and relationships with landscape. The aerial series Passing over #1-4 represent this distance and serve as a
counterpoint to the actions and processes occurring on the ground. The search for value may be necessarily ambiguous
but it is these actions and processes that help us locate ourselves in
The sound piece is by Gino
Bollaert and includes processed recordings of tambourine, ball bearings and
double bass: "not equipped to find ground water, those of us with shallow
roots shift thirstily across landscape."
Erica Molesworth is a
Sydney-based artist working primarily with photography and video. She has a
first-class honours degree from the Sydney College of the Arts. She has held
solo and group exhibitions and most recently was a finalist in the John Fries
is a musician currently working on sound design software in Melbourne. He
completed a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of New South
Wales in Sydney, focussing on the field of audio processing and has since been
involved in local and overseas electro-acoustic and folk performances.
This project is supported by
the NSW Artists' Grant, a NAVA initiative, made possible through the support of
Arts NSW and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the
Australian, State and Territory Governments.