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Archive Reference

Video Visions, Electronic Dreams 

by Liz Kotz

Oakland's Video '90's, on view in the Oaks Observatory, features Oakland-based artists, Ulysses Jenkins, Jo Ann Gillerman and Barney Haynes, While they come from different aesthetic traditions, each of the artists is known for innovative combinations of video, performance and installation work.  The Artists' tapes are highly-charged visually, employing rapid editing and extensive image manipulation to form richly associative works.


The hour-long program takes the viewer through a fast-paced and rhythmic tour of contemporary approaches to electronic image processing, computer-based graphics and audio exploration.  …


JoAnn Gillerman is represented by three tapes, "Whispers in a Plane of Light", Electric Dreams" and "Orchid". She will also be presenting a linked installation work.  A member of the Video/Media faculty at California College of Arts and Crafts, Gillerman has pioneered the use of computer graphics and synthetically-generated imagery in video art.  Via complex image processing and color overlays, the classical figures in Gillerman's videos graphically break up and reassemble to form playful and dramatic patterns.


"Whispers" is the product of a live computer/video/music performance piece composed on a video switcher [Sandin Video Image Processor/Synthesizer she built], which allows the artist to combine multiple images and inputs simultaneously. A kaleidoscopic array of images multiply and combine in a rhythmic and sensuous dance. In "Electric Dreams", a visual nightmare is told through synthesized images as fantastic and dramatic elements converge. And in "Orchid", images of flowers and of male and female bodies are dissolved and overlaid onto each other in a constantly-changing series of patterns. Densely colored and highly designed, the video generates an erotic language of synthesized and abstracted visual effects.


In each piece, Gillerman uses the technology of computer-generated and re-processed images combined with electronic and acoustic music to develop different ways of making abstract visual designs.   Technically innovative and graphically oriented, the three videotapes, display some of the diverse possibilities offered by new computer arts technologies for work in video.

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