Michael Chernoff

Video Artist | Researcher | Educator

Video Being (2011) Video

Medium: 6 Channel CRT Installation
 Format: Modular Video & Post-Processing

The Video Being series represents things speaking for themselves. A combination of shape and material and format informed me what to make or rather what content I should fill a video frame with. That there is no information in the video but rather the video signal informs what is to be percieved. 

The time-based media I was creating as an undergraduate involved a lot of sampling of building materials such as glass, wood, and metal that I came across in various art departments. In the printmaking shop I found these aluminum print plates tossed in the garbage. I grabbed one just to look at the plate image but was more interested in the thunderous noise the flimsy aluminum generated when handled. I wanted to sample the sound it made but not have it be a sound piece. I was becoming more heavily involded with video than sound art and the sheet metal’s rectangular shape emulated a paper sheet for a picture to be drawn on. At the same time I was also messing around by making psuedo-totemic designs. To fit the video screen I made a face of some deity using acrylic and india ink pigments. With a miniDV camcorder I shook the metal paintings for a recording then processed the picture and audio with synthesizers and stretched out the picture with digital effects software.

Originally I had considered Video Being to be a statement about the god-like worship. That the electronic mediums are the central focus for information and that the messages of old religous Gods are as jumbled or lost as the indicpherable anger of the screened deities. Instead I now see this work as an example as to how materials instruct human bodies to give birth their own higher forms. I did not create this artwork as much as it used me as an instrument. In this way these screens are divine and mystical because they commanded my craft. And at the end of each clip is the source video recording without audiovisual processing which peels away the amplified state of deity with its processed effects but also reveals evidence my own presence with the painting. The painting and myself are set before the camera communcating to the taping and with one another throught the camera monitor.