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Patricia Baga
Rectangle with the Sound of Its Own Making
January 7 - 30, 2011
Patricia Baga, Rectangle with the Sound of its Own Making, 2010, video, 28 minutes

Trisha Baga brings process art and arte povera to video in Rectangle with the Sound of Its Own Making, a video that comprises the actions, sounds and even the thought processes of working electronically. In this process she reveals the environment of digital life. It’s not so clean and clear-cut, hardly a robot utopia, and hardly the vanilla space that our corporate providers would like it to be. Never mind hacking through the back door. All doors are open, dangling casually from their hinges.

Baga’s title maps this piece onto Robert Morris’s early ‘70s work, Box With the Sound of Its Own Making, a small wooden box containing an audiotape of the sounds of the box’s construction. Simple and elegant, but beyond minimalism to process, and a suggestion that the clean objects of minimalism be brought back into the quotidian reality from whence they came.

In Baga’s video, the voices in the background are, of course, the sound of the video being made: conversations, brainstorming, background sounds, objects being moved around or placed in front of the camera, laughter – not primarily a nod towards breaking up the illusion of screen-based imagery, but more interestingly, a refusal to break up the elements of the process in the creation of a separate “object.”

The object, therefore is the space of the creation of the video. Of course it is much less cut and dried than that, as the 3-D imagery allows the viewer to have a different kind of encounter with video space. The 3-D gesture is a generous one, as the space and tone become gently expansive, giving the Rectangle volume and seeming to move it out just a little from the plane of the wall. The gesture is like those of a homemade magic show; it allows poetics to emerge from within the process and the material of the video’s making.

Curated by Cecilia Dougherty