San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
July 10 through October 5, 2008
Room for Thought pairs two computer-generated video installations by Swiss artists Alexander Hahn and Yves Netzhammer that reveal a fascination with internal landscapes of the mind. Hahn's single-channel, interactive video projection Luminous Point (2006) allows the viewer to take a self-guided tour of a virtual simulation of the artist's Manhattan apartment, using a remote control to navigate a gamelike labyrinth of spaces derived from digital manipulations of photographic and filmic records. Where Hahn's hybrid space incorporates images of the real world, Netzhammer presents a poetic world of pure invention. Premiering at SFMOMA, his new three-channel, site-specific installation Furniture of Proportions (2008) incorporates highly stylized wall drawings, animation, and sculptural objects to create an intricate spatial narrative.
Organized by Rudolf Frieling, SFMOMA's curator of media arts, the exhibition occupies adjacent galleries and represents two generations of artists who have consciously worked with the computer as a formal artistic tool and means of expression. Both Hahn and Netzhammer combine a variety of traditional media with computer techniques in order to articulate a deep concern with the histories of philosophy and art. The artists also share an interest in human thought processes and the interplay between external images in the world and internal images in the mind. Undertaken as an open-ended investigation, their art is concerned with transience and states of change, and deals in surrealistic effects, associative thinking, and temporal multiplicity.