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Indepth Arts News:

"Valéry Grancher An artwork for the BAM/PFA Web site"
1999-10-04 until 1999-01-31
Berkeley Art Museum + Pacific Film Archive
Berkeley, CA, USA United States of America

French artist Valéry Grancher has conceived an original interactive artwork for the museum's Web site which will be launched on-line October 4.

Twenty-four UC Berkeley students from a variety of departments-from Art Practice and Art History to Molecular and Cell Biology-are working with the artist, the curator, and the museum's Information Systems Manager, Rick Rinehart, to realize the work. Every hour of one entire day, the students will make a photographic portrait according to their own criteria for subject, composition, setting, and lighting, asking the subjects to describe in one word their state of mind at that precise moment. All of the images will be scanned into the computer's memory and represented on the screen by a grid of numbers from 1 to 24, each number corresponding to a photograph in the order it was taken. Above each number will be the time the image was taken and a word corresponding to each subject.

The site navigator (the viewer) will be able to participate via a computer terminal in the museum or by accessing the museum's Web site. There will also be a computer terminal in the Practice of Art Department's Worth Ryder Gallery from October 19 to 29. The viewer will randomly choose one of the twenty-four horizontal lines that correspond to a single photographer's twenty-four portraits. The navigator may nextclick on a vertical column to view all the photographs that were taken at a given hour of the day. Or, by mixing and matching, the navigator can create a personal story or sequence.

Grancher has devised an elegant structure in which the creative role of the student collaborators is matched by that of the site visitors. The site promises to be engaging and amusing but also touches on several significant issues, including how one defines fiction and truth and how one operates in a space that is simultaneously virtual and real.

An on-line catalog featuring an interview with Valéry Grancher will accompany 24h00. Grancher will describe the interactive Web project created for Berkeley as well as other works he has created using digital technology in UC Berkeley's Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium on Wednesday, October 27, at 7:15 p.m. in 160 Kroeber Hall. Admission is free.

During the week of October 25, Grancher will be in residence at UC Berkeley, participating in a number of student-focused activities, including working with the museum's New Media Team andgiving classroom presentations in library information technology and engineering. This artist's residency is a project of The Time of Your Life: Enhancing Student Engagement with the Arts.

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