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On Synchronics: Song of the Avatars
A collaborative artwork created by Claudia
Hart with 24 alumni of the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago, music by Peter Kusek
with sound design by Mikey McParlane and
Claudia Hart

On Synchronics: Song of the Avatars was funded by
The Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research
and Collaboration at the School of the Art Institute
of Chicago.


Like a technological fairy tale, On Synchronics: Song of the Avatars envisions a giant in the form of a digital body spanning the globe. This body is both collective and international as it has been interpreted and reinterpreted by 24 voices from around the world, current and former students of Claudia Hart, contemporary media artist and professor of Experimental Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

To create the work, Hart gave digital files produced for her work Dark kNight to former students and asked them to participate in a game of exquisite cadaver. She proposed that they use her movement files to animate their own characters imagined as attempting to break out of an imprisoning computer into the real world. Hart created the animation by using "rag doll" technology, a process used by the gaming industry for first-person "shooter" games when simulating the death throes of dying figures.

In both Hart's prototype animation and the longer collaborative exquisite cadaver work that resulted, a virtual character attempts to break through the computer screen. It is inspired by an historic work from the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo's marble Slaves - unfinished sculptures portraying an agonized figure emerging from the confines of the "hacked" marble material. Like the Michelangelo figures, On Synchronics avatars struggle to preserve their autonomy and in so doing, discover their humanity in a crudely commercial contemporary world that is all too often alienating, media saturated and unnervingly technological.

To do this, On Synchronics: Song of the Avatars brings together different ideas about individual identity -expressed by animation, video and live performance -- into a patchwork quilt created by 24 distinct artistic voices. Each artist's interpretation mutates fluidly, one to the next, across a continuous movement sequence. Many individual characters therefore merge into a single global body, performing one unified, poetic choreography in which a digital avatar heroically wrestles to escape the safety of the systematic into the unpredictable flow of the real.

Catalog:
Better than Universe catalog excerpt, curated by Yoo Jinsang, 2013-14, at the Dague Media Art / ZKM collaborative space in Dague, Korea
Press:
PostPictures: A New Generation of Pictorial Structuralists is Introduced by New York's bitforms gallery.
by G. Roger Denson for Huffington Post


PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Nadav Assor, Israel
MFA, ATS 2011

Sophie Barrett-Kahn, England/Australia
MFA, ATS 2013

Rhys Bevan, USA
BFA, 2011

Lauren Elder, USA
BFA 2012

André and Evan Lenox
BFA 2012

Miao Jiaxin , China
MFA, Photo 2011
and
Lantian Xie, Dubai/China
MFA, FVNMA 2012

Brookhart Jonquil, USA
MFA, ATS 2011
and
Yara Travesio, USA/Cuba

Brian Khek, USA
BFA 2012

Peter Kusek, USA
MA/MFA, VS/FVNMA 2013

Michael Mallis, USA
mrmallis@gmail.com

Mikey McParlane, USA
MFA, FVNMA 2012

Shane Mecklenburger, USA
MFA, FVNMA 2010

Harold Moss, USA
and
Negin Sharifzadeh, IRAN
BFA 2008

Katie Torn, USA
MFA, FVNMA 2012

Diana Torres, Columbia
MFA, FVNMA 2012

Nancy Tien, USA/Taiwan
MFA, Performance 2011
and
Wesley Wilson, USA
MFA, ATS 2011

Yefeng Wang, China
MFA, ATS 2012

Jason Williams, USA
BFA, 2013

Jihoon Yoo, Korea
MFA, ATS 2012

Vicky Yen, Taiwan
MFA, FVNMA 2012


 
  Get Adobe Flash player
Claudia Hart in collaboration with 24 former students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, On Synchronics: Song of the Avatars,
2012, real-time computer animation, high-def 23-minute animated loop for installation,
music by Peter Kusek with sound design by Mikey McParlane and Claudia Hart


 
Claudia Hart, Song of the Avatars: Dark kNight, 2013, from Better Than Universe, an exhibition curated by Yoo Jinsang,
2013-14, at the Dague Media Art / ZKM collaborative space in Dague, Korea.
+ view high res image



Claudia Hart, Song of the Avatars: Dark kNight, 2013, from Better Than Universe, an exhibition curated by Yoo Jinsang,
2013-14, at the Dague Media Art / ZKM collaborative space in Dague, Korea, image from segment by John Rhys Bevan.
+ view high res image



Claudia Hart, Song of the Avatars: Dark kNight, 2013, from Better Than Universe, an exhibition curated by Yoo Jinsang,
2013-14, at the Dague Media Art / ZKM collaborative space in Dague, Korea.
+ view high res image



Claudia Hart, Song of the Avatars: Dark kNight, 2013, from Better Than Universe, an exhibition curated by Yoo Jinsang,
2013-14, at the Dague Media Art / ZKM collaborative space in Dague, Korea, image from segment by Wesley Wilson and Nancy Chen.
+ view high res image