Jim Campbell: 4300 watts


New York Gallery


Known for his extremely low-resolution moving images accomplished utilizing L.E.D. technologies, M.I.T. educated Jim Campbell presents his first New York exhibition of installation pieces.


For the past seven years, Campbell has presented pixilated representations created with so few L.E.D.s (more than a thousand times fewer than the number of pixels on your computer screen) that a viewer should not be able to comprehend what they are seeing. And yet, because of the brain’s ability to interpret abstract data and “fill in” the gaps in the information needed to create a complete idea, a viewer recognizes an image.


Campbell’s is a unique and humanistic approach to information theory. He explores the distinction between the analogue world and its digital representation as a metaphor for the human ability for poetic understanding or “knowledge” as opposed to the mathematics of “data.”

In a group of works in this show, Campbell abstracts the data even further while manipulating our voyeuristic tendencies by revealing information and at the same time obscuring it. The pixelated imagery, at even lower resolution (one piece uses only 5 L.E.D.s), is turned away from the viewer, toward the wall. There is no longer a visible “image,” only the reflection of an image.


Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956. He received degrees in electronic engineering and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work has been exhibited extensively internationally and is in the collections of MoMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and many others.

Installation Views