Choose your dates:

  1. Saturday, June 22, 2024

  2. Sunday, June 23, 2024

Exhibitions

Constant World: The Work of Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

  • Jennifer & Kevin McCoy (American), Constant World, 2006. Mixed media with video output: 4 suspended mixed media aluminum sculptures with 36 miniature video cameras, 36 models, and 36 lights. A commission by the British Film Institute, Constant World is an installation based on the utopian architectural plan New Babylon by Constant Anton Niewenhuis. The clean molecular form of the chandeliers represents Constant's vision for New Babylon – a progressive, enthusiastic vision of science and technology. However, we see a more grim outlook from the 36 cameras placed in the four suspended sculptures. These miniature cameras capture scenes that are lonely and barren, with haunting phrases overpowering the people who inhabit this world. These cameras, controlled by a computer, project recreated scenes from Jean Luc Goddard's Alphaville, in which a society lives subjected under strict laws. It is this juxtaposition which offers us an insight into the McCoys' work. There is a discrepancy between the ways in which we view the work – we must make sense of both the macro-cosmic realm of the third dimension and the micro-cosmic view of the second. In Constant World, the artists draw on several systems of centralized control: marketing, architecture, and technology; but as we experience the work as a sculpture, we notice we are outside that system. By this contrast, we have the ability to be subjective – to interpret as we will and assemble our thoughts and feelings from our own perspective.

  • Jennifer & Kevin McCoy (American), Big Box 1 (Biosphere), 2008. Mixed media free standing sculpture with cameras, motors, electronics, video output, plasma monitor. Unlike the Double Fantasies, the series titled Big Box uses only a single camera and moving turntable to present the illusion of motion. The artists have placed a diorama of an American "big-box" shopping mall that rotates to reveal post-apocalyptic scenes; one is a dome overrun by a jungle and the other shows a trash-filled wasteland inhabited by zombies. Similar to the Double Fantasy series, the artists are showing us the difference of viewing a two- versus a three-dimensional work. When we engage the sculpture, peering down upon the scene, we experience a world smaller than our own – one in which we have a comfortable distance from the chaos below. However from the view of the camera, we are immersed in this continually rotating urban desert – unable to escape this repetitive nightmare.

  • Jennifer & Kevin McCoy (American), Big Box 2 (Zombies), 2008. Mixed media free standing sculpture with cameras, motors, electronics, video output, plasma monitor. Unlike the Double Fantasies, the series titled Big Box uses only a single camera and moving turntable to present the illusion of motion. The artists have placed a diorama of an American "big-box" shopping mall that rotates to reveal post-apocalyptic scenes; one is a dome overrun by a jungle and the other shows a trash-filled wasteland inhabited by zombies. Similar to the Double Fantasy series, the artists are showing us the difference of viewing a two- versus a three-dimensional work. When we engage the sculpture, peering down upon the scene, we experience a world smaller than our own – one in which we have a comfortable distance from the chaos below. However from the view of the camera, we are immersed in this continually rotating urban desert – unable to escape this repetitive nightmare.

  • Jennifer & Kevin McCoy (American) Double Fantasy I (Childhood), 2006. Double Fantasy IV (God), 2006. Double Fantasy III (Career), 2006. Mixed media free standing aluminum sculpture with resin and plastic miniature forms, motor, electronics, miniature live cameras, light bulbs. The Double Fantasy series explores the artists' dreams and fantasies of their future and past. In Double Fantasy I, the artists contemplate specific aspects of childhood, Double Fantasy IV concerns thoughts about religion and the Absolute, and the third imagines what careers they dreamt of pursuing as a child – while Jennifer thought of a being a tour guide of ambassadors' homes, Kevin was dreaming of becoming a mad scientist. In the dioramas, though they represent the fantasies and yearnings of the artists, viewers may even see elements of their own fantasies, memories, or desires. The miniature cameras offer yet another perspective – combined with a soundtrack, these sculptures cross over into the cinematic realm. They are programmed to switch quickly between views of the landscape, resulting in a film much in the vein of a stream of consciousness.

  • Jennifer & Kevin McCoy (American), High Seas, 2007. Mixed media sculpture with wood, motor, camera and live video output. High Seas is a tour de force of illusion to show how movement is perceived differently in a three-dimensional object versus a two-dimensional representation. While a scale model of the Titanic rests stationary, a moving camera follows the wave-like pattern of the track surrounding the boat. What the camera "sees" is the turbulent waves that are static on the track causing us to see this ship in a violent, unending storm.

About the Exhibition

Constant World: The Work of Jennifer and Kevin McCoy includes work from the past three years that continues the artists’ interest in sculpture, cinema, memory, and technology.

There is no single reality in the McCoy’s work: they present us with multiple realities through constantly shifting stories and perspectives. In their own unique combination of sculpture and video, small cameras project an open-ended narrative of live images filmed directly from the constructed models. The viewer physically navigates between the sculptures and the projections to experience a more associative form of story telling that is both actual and virtual.

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Their work presents a world that is a continual overlay of individual memories and experiences taking place against a shared background of movies, news and technologies; histories, myths and rumors in unending circulation. For the McCoys, this world of changing, evolving and accumulating perspectives is always around us. It is us. It is the Constant World.

The exhibition was curated by Dave Familian and organized by the Beall Center for Art and Technology, University of California, Irvine.