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Title: Virtual Volumes and Electric Choreographies Kinetic and Light Art in the David Bermant Collection
Authors: Paul, Christiane
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2016
Series/Report no.: Practices: Curating as Research;07.11.2015 Session 6B
Abstract: This paper will will give an overview of the David Bermant Collection in Santa Ynez, California — which I researched during a residency in 2014 — and consider its holdings in the context of recent exhibitions such as ZERO ­ Countdown to Tomorrow (Guggenheim New York, 2014/2015), Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot (Asia Society, New York, 2014/2015) and Julio Le Parc (Palais de Tokyo, 2013). The David Bermant Collection, built since 1965, is an invaluable repository of one of the early histories of technological art forms and was expanded into the David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion in 1986 to support and advocate for experimental visual art that draws its form, content, and working materials from late twentieth­century technology. Not inclusive and sometimes eclectic, yet unrivaled in its focus on kinetic art, the collection creates a narrative of technological art forms that is seldom told and still remains largely marginalized from the mainstream art world (despite recent interest in this artistic practice). Motion, light, and optical effects in their intersection with (responsive) systems are at the core of the artworks brought together in the David Bermant Collection. The talk will give an overview of the narrative threads of the collection (such as kinetics and optics / systems / sound), position them in relation to the recent exhibitions, which will be examined from a curatorial and art­historical perspective.
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