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Natalie Bookchin: Testament

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"I am building new forms and configurations of video fragments that speak these new media flows," says LA-based media artist Natalie Bookchin of her collection of recent video projects, each of which draws on the vast archive of moving images uploaded to YouTube. Testament, currently on view at LACMA as a four-channel video installation, draws from online video diaries to explore self-portraiture as it is reframed within the very public space of YouTube. The project is part of the LACMA show titled "The Sum of Myself: Photographic Self-Portraits From the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection," but moves beyond the still images of the photographic self-portrait to the moving images of video self-presentation. Part of this project entails "reclaiming" YouTube videos, which often suffer general disdain, dubbed amateur, narcissistic and inconsequential, more of the noise disrupting the signal of some imagined cultural clarity. Bookchin heartily dismisses this contempt. Indeed, she will talk about her sense that these videos are fundamentally relevant Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. as part of LACMA's "Conversations With Artists" lecture series. Bookchin speaks about her work with a rare sense of precision and with the passion of someone who has discovered a treasure. And she has. Here's a glimpse of her talk:

"As I began digging through this material, watching video after video, I began to realize that they were anything but inconsequential. Rather, they started to feel significant, even monumental, and pointedly reflective of our times. I began to think of this new genre of online homemade videos as a vast, rich, constantly updated, and largely untapped stream of collective consciousness, an entirely new kind of document, valuable both for their descriptive accounts of the world, for their reflection of current social conditions, and for their revelations of current attitudes, perspectives and desires."
the details:
Testament will be on view through Jan. 3, 2010
Conversations With Artists: Natalie Bookchin
Tuesday, December 1, 7:00 p.m.
Brown Auditorium, LACMA


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