Professor Laurel Beckman exhibited work in ‘Video Art For All’ in Macau, China

IN THE LEVITATION LAB, YOUR LOVE, LIFTING ME

Since 1997 scientists have levitated small animals and fruit in acoustic and magnetic fields. As a key component of the research into biological systems, nanostructures, space-based materials and gravity, labs in China, the Netherlands, Spain, the United States and beyond are levitating a broad array of subjects. “In the Levitation Lab, Your Love, Lifting Me” is a high-definition video set in one of the most important of these laboratories- the High Field Magnet Laboratory in Nijmegen, NL. Science theater meets musical film and theater as seven of the actual levitated creatures express themselves in song. The frog, tomato, ant, mouse, ladybug, fish and strawberry- avatar actors with a penchant for games of chance, have one foot in the scientific method, the other in method acting. In a play on dimensionality and realness, the imperfect 3D models address their status as subjects with surprising poignancy. The project, a love story, is a meditation on the spaces between stasis and movement, animation and re-animation, and between investigators and their subjects. The subjects, or ‘creatures’ in the project, rendered here as flawed 3D models (and a puppet), are captured performing in real time to classic musical film and Broadway show tunes. Questions of virtuality and agency are bracketed within the framework of scientific discovery and the performative moment, coalescing ideals and instances of performance, observation, affect, and allegory. HD animation with sound, 9 min 23 sec with titles. 2011

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HD video animation, 5 min. 24 sec.

 

In a mise-en-scène that at once establishes, collapses, exploits and confuses stage and screen space, Nut features 3 common edible nuts in anthropomorphized roles. The heroic hazelnut, trickster walnut, and humble peanut act through our notions of them as they articulate interstitial-like cracks in the narrative expectations of popular entertainment. The 3-part video employs the power of music, humor, the absurd, and the ideals of cinema, street theater, classical opera and musical theater in exploration of the in-between moments as experienced through the film trailer, the intermission, and the finale. The dual meaning of ‘nut’ (an edible kernel and the eccentric or crazy person) is fully embraced in this affectionate inquiry into the structures of meaning. 2012

 

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