Archive for FORMAT

Renhui Zhao

Posted in Other Photographers with tags , , , , on April 6, 2011 by brettvanort

As FORMAT closed a few days ago, I just want to bring up a couple artists works I enjoyed looking at while I was visiting there.  Renhui Zhao was one of those.  His work at FORMAT looks at a cloaking device that he found being used by the Institute of Critical Zoologists.  He stumbled upon this technology while going for a walk China while working on another project.

© Renhui Zhao

I was absolutely perplexed and couldn’t help doubting myself while I looked at this work.  A cloaking device?  Already?  I’d heard that there have been a few scientists that have been able to bend the reaction of light and create a device that “works” as a cloak.  But a device that actually works in the field and without a power generator or anything to make it somewhat bulky and obtrusive?

Well, that’s what Zhao wants us to think.  He wants the disbelief to overpower the imagery in some respects.  In many ways this cloak represents the idea of truth in today’s world.  We are given information every day by friends, relatives, media, neighbors, co-workers and it is always on the pretense that it is correct and true.  But in looking at this cloaking device, this realm of science fiction that Zhao has made real, we can either accept this notion of man being able to conceal his whereabouts in nature and disguise himself or question it.  Thankfully I didn’t bite… at least too hard.  I of course am writing about it now and did some investigating to assure myself that this technology was not readily available.  In doing so, I stumbled upon Zhao’s creation of the Institute of Critical Zoologists, which is more brilliant than “The Blind” project itself.

© Renhui Zhao


Minescape at FORMAT

Posted in Minescape, Personal with tags , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by brettvanort

Just a few days to go before my project, Minescape, shows at FORMAT festival in Derby.  I’ve delivered the work to the Silk Mill Museum and the work should be hung at this point.  One show down and one more to go.  I’ve settled on a framer at this point for my London show and the work should be completed before I go to Derby for the preview date; March 3, 2011.

Forest-Trebevic © Brett Van Ort

Whether or not I’m happy with the framing for the London show will remain to be seen until then.  I’m a bit anxious having to find another place to frame the work, as the design and function of the frames are intergal to the final product.

I’ve been asked by the curator of my show at FORMAT to display instructions on how to operate the frames.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to with hold myself from doing, i.e. explaining to the audience how to interact with the work, but the general consensus from the people at FORMAT is that a brief set of instructions is necessary.  I always felt that if the frames aren’t operated, then the audience “walks” into these fields not knowing what lies beneath.  However, the majority of those at FORMAT feel the entirety of the work must be seen.

You can follow this link here to see my page on the FORMAT website.

Also, FYI, I will be delivering a talk in Derby on my work on March 23 from 2pm.  Info is available here.

I’ll be speaking about the project and how a painting by Fredrich Edwin Church and the destruction of my family farm in Tennessee influenced my thoughts and ideas about the project.

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