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Saturday night, April 24, a group of laptop performers convened at vertexList, a newish space in the old Four Walls location in Brooklyn. Video artists picked audio artists as collaborators (and vice versa) and the work seemed as random as the pairings: synergy was only intermittently achieved. The video part of the Jeremy Bernstein/Glomag collaboration (coruscating patterns of finely minced abstraction) showed more subtlety than the clunky audio, and the audio part of the jenghizkhan*/Daniel Vatsky union (mysterious, sexily-filtered ambient industrial keyboards) eclipsed the video's rather generic typography-cum-50s-science-textbook imagery. One moment where everything clicked came during the token "analog segment," when Mike Ballou's super-8 film of a crowd pulling a giant helium-inflated pig through the sky found suitable porcine accompaniment in Brian Dewan's morose vacuum tubular oinks.
A cranky comment: some artbloggers outside NY have said "there's nothing going on here" or words to that effect. That's clearly wrong. The scene is so rich, so multi-layered, so overflowing with good work that gallerygoers have become blase--talking, schmoozing, laughing, flirting, and exchanging business cards during performances. The music and video serve only as a cool clublike backdrop for their networking. This is Williamsburg, after all, where those art school "how to survive as an artist" courses are field-tested en masse. To put it bluntly, the pigs weren't just up there on the screen Saturday.
*aka John Parker