Jim Campbell: Closer to Nothing
With light as his primary medium, Jim Campbell probes the liminal boundaries of perception. Utilizing devices and techniques he has developed over the last nineteen years, his newest body of work exploits extreme data deficiency as a means of engaging primal pathways of comprehension. Each piece, effectively incomplete without viewer participation, resolves itself only through the brain’s capacity to extrapolate meaning from a paucity of information.
The exhibition will include work that incorporates imagery from Eadweard Muybridge’s groundbreaking human and animal motion studies from the late 1800s. Before the advent of the movie camera, Muybridge devised a method of sequential still photographs to capture aspects of bodily motion undetectable by the human eye. Campbell inverts this concept to test the limits of discernment by breaking down Muybridge’s images into minimal data with continual variations in magnification.
Campbell’s custom electronics hijack technologies developed for information transfer and storage to examine human perception and memory. Navigating the threshold between the analog and the digital, his work activates an experience of neurological alchemy whereby data transforms into knowledge.
Jim Campbell (b. 1956, Chicago) has degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT and he holds nearly twenty patents in the field of video image processing. His work is currently on view at The Anderson Collection at Stanford, thoughtfully curated within the context their permanent collection of post-war American masterpieces. That exhibition will be on view through August 3, 2020. His 2018 public art commission, Day for Night, is a permanent installation that spans the exterior nine stories above the 62nd floor of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.
Campbell’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Whitney Museum of American Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; San Jose Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the Denver Art Museum. In 2012 he was the recipient of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 13th Annual Bay Area Treasure Award. Previous honors include a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Award in Multimedia, three Langlois Foundation Grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship Award.
Jim CampbellReconstructed Memory (variation), 2019custom electronics, 300 LEDs, cast resin screen17 x 22 x 6 in
43.2 x 55.9 x 15.2 cm
Jim CampbellEdition 27 (Women’s March), 2018custom electronics, 384 LEDs, treated plexiglas15 1/2 x 22 3/4 x 2 7/8 in
39.4 x 57.8 x 7.3 cm
Jim CampbellAgainst the Tide, 2019custom electronics, aluminum, 54 LEDs31 x 37 x 4 in
78.7 x 94 x 10.2 cm
Jim CampbellRhythm Studies (studies), 2019custom electronics, 3,456 LEDs, treated plexiglasinstallation and dimensions variable
72 x 112 x 1/2 inches/182.9 x 284.5 x 1.3 cm, as installed
Jim CampbellSouthern California, 2019custom electronics, 1,920 LEDs, treated plexiglas24 x 72 in
61 x 182.9 cm
Jim CampbellBlue Swimmers, 2018custom electronics, 600 LEDs, treated plexiglas23 1/2 x 34 x 2 1/2 in
59.7 x 86.4 x 6.3 cm
Jim CampbellTemple at Yunnan (variation), 2019custom electronics, 768 LEDs, treated plexiglas23 x 29 7/8 x 3 in
58.4 x 75.9 x 7.6 cm
Jim CampbellVertical Repixelated, 2019custom electronics, 1,008 LEDs, frosted acrylic42 3/4 x 71 1/2 x 6 in
108.6 x 181.6 x 15.2 cm