International Artists and Philosophers Exhibit Work

Leslie Thornton expounds on ho to keep audience attention during the artist talk last Friday. One tactic she uses to this end is listing the running time of all her film pieces next to the monitor.  She joked about walking through art galleries where viewers feel uncomfortable no knowing if the loop they are watching will last two minutes or two hours.  In addition to disclosing that information, Thornton hopes to create art so captivating that a viewer will return to the screen multiple times.

Leslie Thornton expounds on ho to keep audience attention during the artist talk last Friday. One tactic she uses to this end is listing the running time of all her film pieces next to the monitor. She joked about walking through art galleries where viewers feel uncomfortable no knowing if the loop they are watching will last two minutes or two hours. In addition to disclosing that information, Thornton hopes to create art so captivating that a viewer will return to the screen multiple times.

Two artists and philosophers came from New York City to open their art show at EMU last week. Leslie Thornton and Thomas Zummer opened “(an accidental and intermittent collaboration concerning the sublime)” last Friday. This is the first show that Thornton and Zummer have done together.

Thornton and Zummer spent the week in Harrisonburg speaking to various art and philosophy classes at EMU.

Thornton is an experimental filmmaker, who is currently a professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has many other accolades, having had many films appear at festivals around the world.

“Love the multiple monitors displaying natural wildlife. Leslie captures creation at its core,” tweeted Senior Katharine Steury, of the exhibit.

Zummer is an internationally acclaimed independent scholar and writer, as well as being an artist and curator. In his career Zummer has studied with well-known philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault.

In the show, now in the Margaret M. Gehman art gallery, Thornton’s pieces are seen on all the screens in the room. She has some of her earlier works on computers, which can be viewed while sitting. The other series of pieces are binocular. There are two circles of images surrounded in black. On the left are videos of different animals and the right circle is a kaleidoscopic version of the same video.

VaCA professor Barbara Fast surveys drawing series by Thomas Zummer depicting satellites and portraits of robots.  Other subjects Zummer addresses in his works currently on display are computer data glitches and an exploding shirt from a science experiment testing Tesla coils.

VaCA professor Barbara Fast surveys drawing series by Thomas Zummer depicting satellites and portraits of robots. Other subjects Zummer addresses in his works currently on display are computer data glitches and an exploding shirt from a science experiment testing Tesla coils.

Zummer fills out the rest of the room with a variety of pieces including drawings, prints, and sculptures that deal with various philosophical questions and the nature of electronic data transmittal.

On Friday afternoon, students, faculty, and community members filled the room to hear the artists speak about their work. The time was filled with stories both comical and philosophical about the artist’s processes, such as Thornton’s inspiration to film birds after visiting Coney Island.

-Ellen Roth, Web Manager


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