Christopher Baker's installation is titled "Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise." / Photo by Claude Peck
 
The bluish-green video wall by Christopher Baker on view at Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis is so big and fluid that it at first made me think of a giant window at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. But instead of underwater creatures flashing in and out of view, we see talking heads -- thousands of them, on a grid 15 feet high and 48 feet wide. Baker harvested about three thousand video blogs from the internet and knit them into this installation brought to life by three video projectors. The multi-channel audio comes out mostly as a low, indistinguishable murmur rather than individual voices.
Elsewhere, Baker has two more techno-network-driven pieces. In one, an impressive pile of paper curlicues in a car-sized mound on the gallery floor. Feeding it slowly from above are tweets from 20 ceiling-mounted digital printers programmed to search the internet for emotional utterances, Baker says. Not sure who the tweeters are, but it is possible to read some of these digital musings made real. Bring your bifocals. Another piece, "The Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome," consists of about 400 cell phones hanging from the wall on their cords and intermittently vibrating. Baker says he wanted to get at the way that technology can affect our bodies, as when we think a phone has vibrated, but it was just a body twitch, or phantom vibration.
 
Tweets descend from ceiling-mounted digital printers in "Murmur Study" by Christopher Baker at Franklin Art in Minneapolis. / Photo by Claude Peck
 
Baker, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, attended the University of Minnesota, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree there in 2008. He has shown in the Twin Cities at Intermedia Arts and the Soap Factory. His work, along with that of Alex Fleming, remains on view at Franklin through January 9. He has these projects displayed on his website. The gallery is closed Thanksgiving weekend.

 

Older Post

MCAD names new Vice Pres

Newer Post

Tim Allen, Live in ... St. Louis Park?!?