The Physiology of Digital Art

Paul Pfeiffer

Filed under: Uncategorized March 28, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

Paul Pfeiffer was born in Hawaii in 1966. He got his BFA in printmaking at the San Francisco Art Instituteand his MFA at Hunter College in New York. He has lived and worked in New York since 1990. He is a video artist and his work has been shown all over the world from the Whitney Museum of Art to Europe in Spain and Berlin. Also in 2000 he won the Bucksbaum Award and in 2009 the visual arts Alpert Award. He does a lot with altering videos. Many seem to be in context of sporting events and such. For example, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is at a basketball game, but all players except one is edited out. He has done the same thing for soccer games and boxing matches as well.

A lot of his work is explained online, however, I couldn’t actually find any pieces of just his video. I found this frustrating because I still couldn’t really understand what he was trying to do or say. It kind of puts me off to his work, because I don’t see the sense of explaining if I can’t see the full work. I definitely feel that his work needs to be seen physically in real life in order to appreciate it. As of right now I don’t think I would like it, but that could change if  saw it in a gallery.  From what I did see, his pictures of the lone basketball player in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was well done. The lack of the other players made the one seem very important or significant, because you see this crowd surrounding him. But it also was weird. As a person, you know people are missing and something is wrong, and it makes the picture feel somewhat bizarre as to why are the  others missing.

He also has done some work wit sculpture type pieces, but there is always an element of digital work somewhere. His Dutch Interior is based off of the staircase in the movie The Amityville Horror. In the intallation of the piece, there is a large screen where the viewer is presented with an image of the stairs of the house, and their at the top looking down. As the viewer walks closer to the screen there is a whole, that when you look through it, you now are looking from the bottom of the stairs upward. In a sense, Pfeiffer has allowed the viewer to experience both positions. I think these types of pieces are more interesting, and they play more with human emotions and I think they evoke a better response. But they are also things that are meant to be seen personally.

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