Behind the scenes

Collections of pre-composed YouTube footage flash more than just images for visitors to the USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) — The hour-long videos, part of the Sixty Minutes exhibition, reflect the inspiration behind the works of four artists.

Videos from artists Olaf Breuning, Kate Gilmore, Luis Gispert and William Villalongo tell a story and provides insight into the artists’ thoughts and influences, said David Norr, chief curator for the Institute of Art.

“(They took clips) from sources as varied as music videos from Madonna and Prince, clips from Dynasty and Fame, clips from home movies and feature films to assemble their sixty-minute videos,” Norr said. “What they chose to put in is deeply reflective of what influenced them growing up, or what continues to influence them.”

Sixty Minutes resembles a video essay that is more “in line with YouTube
mash-up videos” than video art, Norr said.

He said audience members attending the exhibit can expect to gain a “deeper understanding of the ways artists conceive and make their works.”

For Gilmore, who creates work to illuminate women’s graceful vigor, this occasion allowed her to explore the roots of her ideas and imagery.

“This is about our work without showing our work,” she said. “Different references and inspirations that we, as artists, use in (making) the kind of art that we make.”

The videos also feature clips of the inspiration behind Villalongo’s paintings and installations as well as Gispert’s examination of urban subculture and Breuning’s photographic work.

Video art can fall under two different categories: Installation and single channel. Installation involves several different video pieces, an environment, or any amalgamation of traditional art, such as sculpture and painting, with video. Single channel, on the other hand, closely resembles a television program.

Though the Sixty Minutes videos are not traditional video art, they resemble a single-channel mosaic through a YouTube-composed format.

Stead Thomas, a graduate student in USF’s fine arts program, helped some of the artists with their videos. He said the production allowed him to practice video compositing by clipping an array of YouTube videos chosen by each artist.

Thomas said the process prompted him to compose his own video mix to reflect on his inspirations.

“I feel that they will offer visitors to the museum an insight that most viewers rarely get a chance to experience,” Thomas said. “The videos themselves are also fairly entertaining, which will keep people coming back to see the full run of each one.”

Sixty Minutes is on display at CAM’s West Gallery through July 2. CAM is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public.