On Election Night, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School in conjunction with the center's class Art & the Political presents artist Natalie Bookchin who will present her 2012 project Now He's Out in Public and Everyone Can See.
First presented at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) this summer, the 18-channel video work weaves together multiple stories in which video bloggers recount media scandals involving famous African American men. In her New School talk, Bookchin elaborates on how these stories-consisting of found online video diaries-intersect and overlap across space and time, often inflamed by mass media gone viral.
Links and tropes emerge among the hundreds of isolated and scatter-shot voices and individual rants to create a mass performance that explores current popular attitudes, anxieties, desires, and conflicts about race. The project examines the often polarizing narratives that dominate our media-driven conversations, informed by fears over demographic changes, tough economic times, and reactions to the United States' first African American president.
A pioneer at the intersection of documentary narrative, new media and cinema, Natalie Bookchin has developed new forms of the documentary on subjects ranging from globalization, isolation and mass connectivity, to labor, technology, and online DIY dance videos. She is currently at work on a participatory documentary composed of intersecting video diaries made by people in the United States hit hardest by the recession and its aftermath, as well as on a multichannel video installation about the mass online retelling and unfolding of the Trayvon Martin case.
Bookchin's work has been exhibited and screened at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; the Walker Art Center; the Pompidou Centrer; The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Tate Modern, London. She has received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and others. Her work has been written about in the forthcoming books The Archive Effect by Jaimie Baron (Routledge Press, 2013), and An Aesthesia of Networks by Anna Munster (MIT Press, 2013). She lives in Los Angeles, where she has been on the Faculty in the Photography & Media Program at CalArts since 1998.
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Image Caption: Natalie Bookchin. Video still from "Now He's Out in Public and Everyone Can See", 2012.