Its been great this semester to see the responses of students, faculty, staff, and other passersby to our new Video Wall right outside the doors of the Samek. Our inaugural piece of video art was by West Coast media artist, filmmaker, and researcher in interactivity, Scott Snibbe. The work Falling Girl is a whimsical video of a young woman perched atop of an ornate art deco-y skyscraper and, as the title reveals, her slow and very graceful fall. Snibbe’s website has a lot of great info about the video work with video and images of its production. In its creation he collaborated with choreographer/filmmaker Annie Loui and a cast of dancers and actors whose movements were filmed in front of a green screen. This material was then turned into the silhouetted figures who are inserted into the architecture of the skyscraper. As the girl falls she dances, floats and thoroughly enjoys her descent. At times she interacts with individuals in the building who fear for her, wave to her, and long to join her. At times, however, she passes unnoticed by windows with captivated lovers or preoccupied office workers.
As an art lover I like the work for its beautiful simplicity. There is something about the linearity and geometry of the architectural drawings inhabited by human silhouettes that captivates me, aside from the equally captivating and thought provoking theme and narrative.
As a museum professional I love how this video has additionally captured the curiosities of our visitors and students, faculty, and staff who just happen to be walking by. A month ago the Video Wall was just a “wall” and a wall you walked past on your way out of the elevator on your way to someplace else. Now the Video Wall grabs your attention. Falling Girl especially grabs your attention as you see this graceful girl falling hundreds of feet unfazed and with disregard to her ultimate destination. I have particularly enjoyed those moments when I walk out of my office to see a professor and his student standing together after class and pondering the girl’s motivation, wondering how she’ll end up, and ultimately “what does it all mean?” Equally entertaining has been the opportunity to see individuals get pulled into the story of the falling girl as they wait for the elevator. Suddenly the elevator arrives and these people are torn. How do they decide whether to enter the elevator, disrupt the story, and never know what happens at the end or to postpone their plans for a few minutes to watch the film in its entirety. Its a very interesting dilemma to watch people go through.
But unfortunately, Falling Girl will be coming down in a few weeks at then end of our first exhibition schedule. Thankfully, though the Video Wall will stay and our new Director/Curator Richard Rinehart will bring another work of video or digital art the wall. So hurry up to catch one last glimpse of Falling Girl and stay posted to see what future work will go up in its place!