Iphia Henry _Tactile Video/ Interactive Spaces
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Live To Tell (2002)
This week’s blog post will spotlight Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, a Montreal based artist who works predominantly with video and performance art. Nemerofsky Ramsay employs videos as “creative vehicles for examining the singing voice and the history of song, the rendering of love and emotion into words, and the impact of popular culture on identity.”
The piece which I will be elaborating on is “Live to Tell”, a cleverly composed music video produced by the use of surveillance cameras as he performed a “choral rendition of a 1980s Madonna ballad.”
While watching this video I was immediately impressed with the artistic direction which Nemerofsky Ramsay utilized to achieve this seamless video performance.
As the video commences, 16 screens appeared showing Nemerofsky Ramsay in various positions and locations. Each screen appears to be very independent from the other and even appear to be recording events at different moments in time. Then in one for the screen Nemerofsky Ramsay turns to the camera as if to acknowledge the there is someone actually watching him. He starts to sing to the camera as if he is serenading the viewer.
One by one, each “character” in the various screens begins to respond to the vocal melody. In one screen, he slowly sways to the tune, in another screen he leaps through the air and in one of the numerous screens he begins to join in creating a harmonies chorus. Before long in all 16 screens, he is turned towards to camera, singing in harmony to the viewer. The final result is effortless and flows rather smoothly.
After watching and listening to the rendition I was immediately impressed with Nemerofsky Ramsay’s creation. With the use of technology, which has become commonplace in our society and his interpretation of a pop song, Nemerofsky Ramsay has created a video which he is able to personalize for the viewer. Over the past years I have seen other artists create similar video. An example of analogous work is from Toronto based musician, Andrew (Songs to Wear Pants To)’s GRAVY & TOAST rendition which can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTzTSbc268c&feature=relmfu.
As a mature student, returning to attain my bachelors degree has been a peculiar journey. My moment occurred while on my way to another family luncheon. A familial assembly where I would be assaulted by screaming children, questioned by inquiring relatives and enduring discussions regarding life matters, which I have yet to experience.
As I entered the elevator and started my ascent to the 8th floor, I noticed that couples surrounded me. This normally would be something I would not even notice but at that moment, this revelation made me rather uneasy and a little despondent. As the illuminated numbers turned from two to three to four, I came to realize that, though I was about to meet with family, I was rather alone in my journey of a new career and a new life. The days of relaying on my parents for advise and consolation was coming to an end.
The Moment by Iphia Henry
Now your house plant can use Twitter! Botanicalls was propagated with the use of contemporary technology to open the lines of communication between humans and plants. The purpose of this technology was to promote successful inter-species dissemination. Botanicalls Classic allows plants to correlate with humans through “common human communication protocols”. Once your plant is placed in the Botanicalls network, it can call, text, or twitter when it requires water, light or nourishment.
The Botanicalls technology and network was conceived by Rob Faludi, Kate Hartman, and Kati London. The team has developed kits which participants could purchase and assemble in order to initiate contact and start the inter-species discourse. On the Botanicalls website, instructions are listed in order to assist with the assembly process. It is interesting to see how the communication platforms and devices which we utilize to correspond with each other can also be used to connect with plant life. It is stated that “People who are unsure of their ability to effectively care for growing things are given visual and aural clues using common human methods of communication.”
It would be interesting to see how this technology will cultivate and eventually be used to help humans better comprehend and communicate with animal life. Eventually further expanding inter-species understanding.
In 1980, HOLE-IN-SPACE installation was presented to pedestrians at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, and passer-by’s at the “The Broadway” department store in Century City Los Angeles. The creators, Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz described their installation as a Public Communication Sculpture. This communication sculpture linked two life size displays through a satellite feed.
After watching “The mother of all video chats: LA-NY, 1980, a Hole in Space” on youtube it was interesting to see the spectators strong emotional reactions to the video installation. At first the crowd corresponds with what initially appeared to be projected images, clearly puzzled by what was presented to them. Conversations begin to erupted as each viewer realizes that they were talking with people, just like themselves, at that very moment but from a different location. It has been documented that upon the initial discovery of the installation, word spread as more people became aware of this amazing communication device that appeared to create simultaneously connection between two very distant locations. At one instants during the clip, there is a excited woman gleefully talking with the projected pedestrians, whom she had not seen for some time. Blowing kisses, overwrought with emotions, bowing down and bursting into tears. It is that moment that you become aware that the distance between these two groups of people had been dissolved.
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz has created this installation to show that size and bandwidth matter can be used to question and promulgate the emotional effects of communication.
It is fascinating to comprehend, that in this day and age such methods of instant communicating over vast distances was regarded as impossible in the not so distance pass. In homes and office around the world, friends, families and coworkers are able to instantaneously experience these encounters at any moment.
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz have worked on various pioneering communication projects. This particular installation was funded by The Broadway Department Store, grant from National Endowment for the Arts and numerous companies. In 1989 Galloway and Rabinowitz founded Communication Access For Everyone (C.A.F.E).