It’s a familiar enough high-low, East-West, future-now interaction these days: gallery art, pop culture, robotics, dystopic sci-fi, pulpy comic books.
But what’s interesting about SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO!, the current exhibition at the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts gallery — interesting, that is, to us media-cubicle-zombie types with our shameless need for fresh online content — is that the curator involved, Joel Kiser, is a grad student in Texas Christian University’s art department.
Who makes videos.
So SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! is a local art show that actually has a couple of video promos on YouTube. And they’re not the usual “hushed footage of white walls with images affixed” or “party shots of cah-razy wine-sipping at the opening reception.” These babies convey (or “sell”) the exhibition’s general aesthetic by being tongue-in-cheek-ish movie trailers. The one above comes complete with a voiceover booming “Super Dynamic Action Go!” The background music is a cheesy, James-Bond-Meets-Astro-Boy mix with screaming horns and meaningless explosions. The overall effect is of a low-budget Japanese anime series that’s been dubbed for the American market. There’s just a little of the pop-send-up spirit of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The other trailer (there’s a third on YouTube but it doesn’t work) —
— plays like a big-budget, techno thriller (Kiser has the satirist’s cojones to make his name logo resemble Lucasfilms’). This trailer has cooler visuals and richer, more symphonic music (angelic choirs, percussive string section, tolling bells). But the weakness here is that it takes the video 58 seconds (an eternity in YouTubeTime) to get to an artist’s name or work. (For the record, the other artists involved are Dustin Wallace, Colin Morse and Yousif Del Valley.) And then the video doesn’t really have enough fresh imagery for the full, four- minute running time –without repeating. Still, these ain’t your grandfather’s gallery promos.
Finally, what’s also interesting about SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! is that it’s not really a gallery exhibition inside Fort Worth Contemporary Arts. The FWCA was established last year as half of the Art Galleries at TCU (the Moudy Gallery is the other half). Part of its mission is to allow TCU students “to interact with all aspects of the planning, implementation, and staging of exhibitions within a pedagogical setting.”
In this case, that means a window.
That’s right, despite the world-conquering hypey-ness of its all-caps title, SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! is window dressing. Or, if you prefer, a window installation. It’s part of this summer’s Window Space series at FWCA. Which means, like the videos, the whole East-West, high-low, gizmo-cartoon mix is emphatically compact. Instead of the discreet, thoughtful distinctions and separations of a gallery show, SDAG! is chock-a-block with references, a collective compilation, wired together, interconnected, all there.
In short, a nifty mash-up.