Jim Campbell: New Work
Jim Campbell’s tenth exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery continues his examination of the liminal space of perception, where data becomes image and light becomes material. As a unique embodiment of Campbell’s engineering and film-making backgrounds, his art is consistently at the forefront of the development of the genre of new media. His newest body of work breaks ground in its expansion into full-color LEDs and new sculptural formats.
Campbell’s earliest LED works, shown in the 2000 exhibition Color By Number at Hosfelt Gallery, consisted of full-color LEDs. These first, small works served as a fertile foundation upon which Campbell could experiment with translating appropriated or original video footage into extremely low-resolution formats. But the works that followed typically involved a single color of LED – either red or white – as Campbell investigated the reduction of information to the borderline of recognition.
In this exhibition Campbell returns to the realm of full-color. Two works that are part of his ongoing Home Moviesseries deploy four-color LEDs, turned toward the wall (away from the viewer), to depict vintage footage capturing the significant moments in the lives of anonymous families, prior to the advent of video and before recording devices became quotidian. Viewed in low-resolution Technicolor, the birthdays, holidays and vacations become universal, turning anonymous records of the past into evocative and expressive repositories of our own personal memories.
Other works incorporate carved, semi-transparent resin ‘screens’ in an extension of Campbell’sReconstruction series. In these newest iterations, the resin is a sculptural equivalent of the image depicted by the LEDs. The light is distorted as it passes through the varied thickness of the resin, creating the unsettling effect that the object itself is in motion.
Additional works stem from Campbell’s Exploded Viewseries by exploring new three-dimensional formats, including multiple flat panels mounted at varying distances from the wall, and topographic arrangements of LEDs.
As ever-present technology distances us from sensation and contemplation, Campbell uses technologies developed for information transfer and storage to bring us back to the fundamental human experiences of perception and memory.
Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and lives in San Francisco. He received degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT in 1978. He transitioned from filmmaking to interactive video installations in the mid-1980s and has been working with LED technology since 1999. His work is in the collections of major museums including MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, LACMA, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art. His numerous public commissions include the San Diego airport, Madison Square Park in New York, the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and the new San Francisco central subway in Union Square. In 2012 he received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award and SFMOMA’s Bay Area Treasure Award.
Jim CampbellBlur One, 2014300 4-color LEDs, custom electronics, resin18 x 22 1/4 x 6 inches
Jim CampbellLight Topography (Jane's Pool), 20141,380 LEDs, custom electronics32 x 48 x 8 1/2 inches
Jim CampbellTopography Reconstruction (Wave), 20141,064 LEDs, custom electronics, carved resin18 1/2 x 23 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches/47 x 60.3 x 11.4 cm
from an edition of 3
Jim CampbellHome Movies Pause (David), 2014520 LEDs, custom electronics66 x 76 x 3 inches/167.6 x 193 x 7.6 cm
Jim CampbellHome Movies (Contradiction), 2014432 4-color LEDs, custom electronics66 x 76 x 3 inches
Jim CampbellSelf-Portrait in Negative Light, 20141064 LEDs, custom electronics, carved resin23 3/4 x 18 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
Jim CampbellSelf-Portrait in Positive Light, 20141064 LEDs, custom electronics, carved resin23 3/4 x 18 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches