Freedom and Creativity are Explored
By Maria Karin Walczuk, Arts & Community Editor
Experimental Digital Video Installation, a class created and taught by instructor Kevin Diminyatz of the UH Hilo Art Department, presents student installations within the UH Hilo Mo`okini library.
Diminyatz spoke of the Art department’s evolution, “[It] has only been growing, more classes are being offered, we have a new outstanding printmaking professor, Jon Goebel, and last summer Professor Michael Marshall created the first Summer Art Institute with an international cast of visiting artists. The art department continues to offer visiting artists programs and interesting classes.” This newly offered course for this autumn semester is precisely that, a class introducing students to the world of digital video art, some for the first time.
Their upcoming mid-term installation assignment, to be shared publicly in the first week of November, requires the dozen students enrolled to relate their conceptualizations to the Mo`okini library, contrasting the hardcover world against technology. A few aspects are integral to their work: content that reflects literature, removal of sounds (within the library environment), and interactivity within a public space –allowing for individual voices to come through.
Discarded library books were used and old tv sets were salvaged by students to create 3D sculptures of video art. This project allowed for generous freedom of expression, exploring individuality, idea and style.
Rosella Vaughn, an Art major, created her installation piece to question whether books are good or bad, or simply obsolete, “We are sitting on a huge pile of knowledge that is ignored, in favor of [technological] instant gratification… leading a mindless zombie life.”
Initially in this introductory class, the assignments encouraged students to explore elements of digital movement, sound, editing and visual experimentation. Additionally, reflections upon art history of the 1960’s and 70’s were helpful in illustrating the birth of video art.
Denarose Fukushima, a senior double majoring in Art and English stated, “The [digital art] medium allows for a lot of creativity,
you can do so much with video that you just can’t with a canvas or piece of paper, and everyone has been quick to pick up on that.”
Fukushima spoke of the installation assignment, “It’s so hard to think of a way to present a TV as something other than just the piece of technology that we use to watch stuff. It has to draw someone in.” Fukushima’s piece elaborates upon poet Walt Whitman’s writings, utilizing his poem, “Song of Myself.”
Instructor Diminyatz, stated, “Video is a fine art, not just a form of communication.”
He continued, “There is great room for creativity, [everyone’s] styles are so different.” Diminyatz, received his Masters of Fine Art in painting from Mills College in 1998. Mills has has a deep history in conceptual art and video installation with graduates like Laurie Anderson, it was there that he was introduced to digital video editing and the use of video as fine art media. Diminyatz has been the conductor of this elaborate multimedia orchestra on campus. The class is an outlet of personal expression and artistry, which Diminyatz advocates, “Different properties, color, texture, appropriated footage and sound have been explored…All this stretches [the students] imagination. Ideas before everything; it’s not limited.”
For their final project, student pieces will involve video projections in site specific locations on campus. Vaughn added, “We can all get inspired. We can conceive whatever [we] want.”
Student installations will be placed throughout the Mo`okini Library in the first week of November.