EMAF and MONTEITH MCCOLLUM
The ‘European Media Art Festival‘ in Osnabruck shows experimental work by both emerging and established artists. This work sits in the borderlands between video, performance, installation art and new interactive technology.
Since the European Media Art Festival invariably presents the latest trends in media art, it simultaneously maps its current state. In the process, boundaries are sounded out, crossed and redefined.
One of the first pieces we saw, which encapsulates this experimental crossover approach, was ‘Mary Wore Janes Hat’ by the New York artist, Monteith McCollum. ‘Mary Wore Janes Hat’ comprises a 10 minute film and a 20 minute sound performance based around morse code.
Just over half way through the film, McCollum sat down in front of the screen at a small table littered with technology (old and new), and surrounded by a mess of wires. The obvious complexity and fragility of the whole setup, accompanied by McCollum’s acute concentration and shaking hands, gave the whole piece an intensity which captured the whole room. Half way through the performance McCollum even got a small electric shock from an old oscillator.