I first saw “From Paper to Pixels” at Jamaica Plain Open Studios back in September, but busy September got away from me before I could do a proper write up, so I was thrilled to hear that the show was having a reprise at the Suffolk University Gallery. “From Paper to Pixels” is an exhibition of collaborations between pairs of traditional and new media artists. The work of the traditional artist served as the starting point for the collaborative creation of a new, interactive work of art. The results are as engaging, unexpected, and just plain fun. Here are a few highlights:
Recordings of visitors’ faces are merged with digital masks created from cartoon-style drawings in “We Become Gruesome.”
In “Energy Explored” Rosie Ranauro’s line drawing comes to life in an interactive touch screen animation. Ranauro’s work explores the relationship between chronic pain and the body. When the viewer touches the triangle symbols on the body, Aaron Artessa’s animation vibrates, the distortion radiating out from the selected triangle. The more triangles touched at once, the greater the vibration, until the entire body is distorted with waves of pain. I suffer from a chronic pain condition myself and literally cringed away from the screen after selecting all the triangles due to the accuracy of the experience that the piece invokes.
Motion cameras allow viewers to become Aaron North’s surreal drawings in “Animals from the North.” The viewer is invited to dance to the music and the animated sprites mimic the viewer’s dance moves.
In “Surveillance Dollhouse” an intricately handmade dollhouse is obscured behind a wall. Viewers can only explore the detailed rooms by controlling a tiny camera that only allows them to see a fraction of the house at once.
“Of the Egg of the Heart – Part III” uses photography in a number of unconventional ways. Gretjen Helene uses darkroom chemicals to print delicate photos on the inside of eggshells. Jamie Kosoy makes the idea of a photograph inside an egg more immediate – when the viewer leans forward to inspect a nested eggshell, a camera detects their presence and projects a shadow version of the viewer’s profile facing a preexisting shadow profile. Draw away, and the shadow figure also pulls back out of view. In the image above, you can see my camera on the left, facing the unknown figure’s profile. The interactive piece maintains the delicate softness of Helene’s eggs while also exploring the role of photographic technology in image creation.
In “Lightdrop Encounters” felted flowers and their digitally projected companions respond to viewer’s presence and actions by moving up and down, dancing, and playing music. The flowers’ personalities are palpable and the effect feels like something part muppet, part Dreamworks animation.
It’s exciting to see a show where every work of art is interactive in some way. “From Paper to Pixels” is a show that invites investigation and is both playful and subtle in its exploration of the overlap between traditional and new mediums.
Aaron North • Anna Kristina Goransson • Ace Norton • Rosie Ranauro • Bradley Munkowitz • Sally B Moore • Sage Schmett • Elodie Sabardeil • John Guthrie •Gretjen Helene
Rob Gonsalves • Eric Rosenbaum • Aaron Artessa • Sophia Brueckner • Keith Peters • Joe Farbrook • Kawandeep Virdee • Andy Shaules • Infrared5 • Steff Kelsey • Jamie Kosoy