Out of sync

ART IN FOCUS
May - 2015

Angela Bulloch Topology: No Holes, Four Tails

Angela Bulloch · “Topology: No Holes, Four Tails”, at Mary Boone Gallery. An exhibition curated by Piper Marshall of new works by Angela Bulloch.

Since the late 1980s Angela Bulloch’s work has focused on the function of instructions in society and technology. Early light works, triggering mechanisms, and drawing machines were combined with cultural instructions and rules of various types. Her more recent work combines this sense of instruction and coding into abstract structures that echo and amplify the lure of the screen and reveals its underlying operations.

The flickering television and the continual scrolling of the Internet require two ways of paying attention – passive and engaged. We perceive minute changes in colored pixel as motion. How this movement commands and disciplines bodies is the basis of Angela Bulloch’s latest project. The five works on view are near human-size and constructed of either Bulloch’s signature Pixel Boxes or the newer polyhedral units.

Each work makes use of LED technology and computer software to emit light in a timed sequence. This feature shifts the color value of each piece among a pre-selected palette of forty hues. The kaleidoscopic variations of color seem to move up and down the modular cubes. However, what we read as motion is simply the change of values in four mixed channels RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White).

A shifting, immersive effect is created of flashing lights in a perceptual tempo, one that almost matches a human beat and detours rapt attention into distraction. Over time, the pulsing light lulls the body into that inter-passive state, one which eerily mirrors the effect of surfing television and scrolling the internet.

The movement of color thus defines the parameters of perception, effectively establishing an optical and haptic engagement. The viewer may participate in the system, but the rules of this interaction have been programmed in advance. This awareness extends from the grid of pixel cubes in the Gallery to the orthogonally organized city streets of Manhattan, where by night it is the vertical thrust of the skyscrapers and their multi-colored office lights that enchant and haunt passersby.

Angela Bulloch “Topology: No Holes, Four Tails” | filmed by Out of Sync | NYC May 2015
On view | May 9-June 27 2015
Artworks courtesy | Angela Bulloch | Mary Boone Gallery
Text | Mary Boone Gallery

© Out of Sync 2016

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