Don Ritter: Burning Too

  • ©, , Burning Too

Artist Statement:


    Media façade using video projection on Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, approximately 55×26 metres, 2016

    “Burning Too” is a media façade to be presented on the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at City University of Hong Kong. The main façade of the building (55 x 26 m) will be covered with video projections of fire. Humanity was highly dependent on actual fire for warmth, safety and food preparation during former eras, but fire for most people today is an aesthetic experience that provides feelings of warmth or romanticism. Although our feelings of comfort are likely to diminish when a fire becomes larger and more dangerous, we may still be attracted to it for various psychological reasons.

    When we examine the mechanism of media we are pursuing an understanding of what media are, but when we examine the function of media we become aware of what media are doing. The mechanism of digital media art includes its technology, its content and any other descriptive features associated with it. The function of digital media art may often be difficult to recognize because a common perspective is that art has no function, or because more attention is being directed towards the mechanism of media: to the identity and exhibition history of the artist who created an artwork, to the cost of an artwork, or to the specific manufacturer of an artwork’s technology. I believe the common function of artworks created in any medium—including digital media art–is to promote an entity. Media of all types are essentially used to enhance the worthiness of specific concepts, persons or social institutions, and the specific entities being promoted are determined by the criteria we use for judging media. The history of my interest in the artistic use of digital media began with a focus on the mechanism of media, especially on using digital media to create large interactive installations controlled by live music, body motion or voice. Although I am still interested in the mechanism and artistic potential of digital media technologies, I am now primarily concerned with using these technologies to promote certain concepts. The specific hardware and software tools that I use are important from a practical perspective, but I am mostly interested in creating artworks that are reflective of peculiar human values or that promote positive human behaviors through depictions of certain concepts.

    aesthetic-machinery.com

    Don Ritter: video editing, mapping
    Mitch Martinez: additional footage
    Cleo Song: production assistant

    Full text and photo (PDF) p. 242-243


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