Good Intentions by Jinhan Ko | A response to Red Sea by Nicolas Sassoon
August 19 to September 13, 2015
Throughout the summer of 2015, Plug In ICA presents Nature Falls, a serial exhibition of digital works by Nicolas Sassoon on our monitor wall. As part of our public programs in conjunction with Sassoon’s exhibition, we have invited artists and writers, Alex Snukal, Alex Quicho, Tiziana La Melia, Jinhan Ko and Andrew Berardini, to respond individually to one of the five animations in the exhibition. The responses, which are intended to be immediate and somewhat poetic, take a variety of forms from textual narratives or critical readings to sound works, drawing, photography, etc. with the stipulation that they be presented online.
Vancouver-based artist Jinhan Ko is the third to respond to Nature Falls, specifically to Red Sea, a red and black digital animation that depicts the surface of a large body of water agitated by stilted movements. Sassoon produced Red Sea after reading Mars a trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, a science-fiction book series whose narrative follows the terraforming of the planet Mars over several generations of pioneers.
Ko’s somewhat comic response takes the form of a short video, depicting moving fields of colour: plumes of pink smoke fill the screen until they form an abstract surface; a triangulated pattern of green lights shakes and pulsates; a black baggage conveyor belt piled with stickers rotates forward empty; an underground path is bathed in gold light. These fields are juxtaposed with absurdist and tenacious aphorisms and slogans that include “Do Not Avoid Shaming” and “I will always remember how rude and arrogant you were.”
Ko’s video imitates the frenetic movement of Red Sea, but denies us the hypnotic rhythm of Sassoon’s animation. Instead, the video provides an unstable rupturing of image and text, imitating and undoing the aesthetic and intent of advertisement. Ko’s basic montage technics of sequenced vignettes inGood Intentions points to the infusion of the utopian ideal of early video art, which was meant to change the art world, dissolving the unique and precious original while also challenging modes of delivery. This ideal is well embodied in Sassoon’s work through its process of distribution and reference to early digital image-making and the internet more generally.
The responses are framed together with Sassoon’s exhibition, accumulating as each new digital work is presented. To view Sassoon’s work and Ko’s response please follow the link: http://www.nicolassassoon.com/GOOD_INTENTIONS.html
To view the first three responses to Nature Falls please visit: http://www.nicolassassoon.com/NATURE_FALLS.html
On Friday, August 26th, Plug In ICA will launch a new work by Sassoon, Green Waves. Tiziana La Melia will be responding to the animation by Friday, September 4th.
Nature Falls is a selection of Nicolas Sassoon’s work that represents the natural environment from the landscape to meteorological occurrences. The artist often uses nature as his subject matter, capturing the movement of the ocean as it hits the shore or the rain falling on a window, through a layering of distinct pixelated colours. Each saturated square retains its individual shape but it is amassed to create a graphic digital pattern that replicates the movement of organic forms. Just as the flow of a waterfall can mesmerize, Sassoon’s animations form hypnotic fields. Through the window, and in Sassoon’s case, the computer screen, he sets himself and the viewer, outside into a plane of movement and colour.
BIOS: Jinhan Ko is a Vancouver-based artist, sometimes a writer. He actively engages in a social practice that brings people together for performances, lectures, concerts, and other participatory activities. Ko is one of the founding members of Instant Coffee, a service based artist collective that facilitates artist’s projects, from exhibiting visual work to publishing artist’s projects. The collective has shown and organized events internationally including Subdivision, Hamburg; Light Bar Research and Residency, Kuenstlerhaeuser Worpswede, Germany and Flaggfabrikken/Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway. Recent Instant Coffee projects include Perpetual Sunset, a public artwork, Richmond, BC; the hero, the villain, the salesman, the parent, a sidekick and a servant, SFU Galleries, Vancouver; Take the Easy Way, MKG127, Toronto and Pink Noise, Kamloops Art Gallery.
Nicolas Sassoon is recognized for his digital animation, which he presents and distributes online, as well as for his projections that create immersive installations which respond to architectural space, both articulating and fabricating the built environment. Sassoon has exhibited internationally at venues such as the 319 Scholes, New York; May Gallery, New Orleans; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; PRETEEN Gallery, Madrid; the Centre d’Art Bastille Grenoble, France; Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam; Victoria & Albert Museum London, UK, and Today Art Museum, Beijing, China. Often collaborating with other artists, architects, music producers, and fashion designers, he is also a member of the online collective Computers Club and a founder of the collective W-A-L-L-P-A-P-E-R-S.
Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council and the RBC Foundation as well as our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.