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FORMAL ANALYSIS – Week 5 – 28 September 2020

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

FORMAL ANALYSIS – Week 5 – 28 September 2020

1. "What do you see?"


Bill Viola: Cameras are soul keepers’ video (28 min)




Bill Viola (born 1951) is a contemporary video artist whose artistic expression depends upon electronic, sound, and image technology in New Media. His works focus on the ideas behind fundamental human experiences such as birth, death, and aspects of consciousness.

Pipilotti Rist: We get used fast to constraints (6 min)




Pipilotti (Elisabeth) Rist (born 1962) is a visual artist. She is best known for creating experiential video art and installation art that often portrays self-portraits and singing. Her work is often described as surreal, intimate, abstract art, having a preoccupation with the female body.

Pipilotti Rist Interview at ACCA video (9 min)


Pipilotti Rist in conversation at her exhibition “I Packed the Postcard in My Suitcase” at The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Pipilotti talks about her approaches to video and how she hopes people experience the show. She also explains her use of color, speed and sound, her reflections on the museum as an experience, and how the development of digital video and new technologies has influenced her practice.

Paul Pfeiffer SEGMENT: in "Time” video (12 min)




Paul Pfeiffer (born 1966 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American sculptor, photographer, and video artist. Described by peer artist Gregory Volk as a clever manipulator of popular media, images and video technology, Pfeiffer is stated (by Volk) as one 'who excels at recasting well-known athletic and entertainment events with surprising open-ended nuances.'

2. "How did the artist do it?"


Bill Viola's art deals largely with the central themes of human consciousness and experience - birth, death, love, emotion, and a kind of humanist spirituality. He is very Zen in his personal philosophy. He opened my mind to space between objects is “an object itself” and worthy of completion. Last, documents and videos of every day’s moments are just as important and great historical moments. He states, “The camera records the internal soul of an individual and it will be preserved forever long after the person has left this world.

Pipilotti Rist’s deals with life’s constraints. She wanted to make “Public Spaces” feel like one’s living room. Also, she wanted to make “White Walls” less clinical and more open to multiple images. I like her idea that people need to be more vertical in their lives, less horizontal. I thought of the time I just rest in my bed, look at the ceiling and let my mind wander. I found it to be very freeing and that activity I found to be very inspirational.

Paul Pfeiffer’s video art reflects oneself to the other. He loves spectacle and sports is the media he uses to make his videos. He focuses on one athlete and video erases the others to focus on that one individual. Those his videos one can see the spectrum of human emotions from its s high and low points. Last, he focused on hockey’s trophy, “The Stanley Cup” and just showed it as an object of adoration floating through the air.

3. "Why did the artist create it and what does it mean”


All these artists want to use video art to explore human perception. They focused on the internal and external images created by the human mind. Bill Viola's art deals largely with the central themes of human consciousness; Pipilotti Rist’s deals with life’s constraints; and Paul Pfeiffer’s video art reflects oneself to the other. Each did an excellent job getting their message across through their videos.

4. Is it a good artwork?


Yes, this is good artwork because it gets it message across to whoever views it. Each video takes the viewer on a journey they might not have gone on by themselves. Bill Viola's Zen philosophy is very well explained in his video and his video forces the viewer to explore the internal soul of an individual

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