I & II

JULY 24 -
AUGUST 27, 2010





Opening reception: Saturday, July 24, from 6 to 8 pm

N O M A Gallery is pleased to present Parallel Series I & II, new works by Nate Boyce. This new body of work consists of two video projections, a 3 monitors installation and prints.

Utilizing serial and permutational systems to structure intuitively developed abstractions, Boyce’s latest work critically re-examines the status of abstraction in early video art and computer animation. Through a synthesis of elements relating to Structural/Materialst filmmaking, Language Poetry, serialist music composition and late modernist abstract painting, he pushes the boundaries of emergent imaging tools while re-purposing the mundane functions of outdated ones.

He starts by using consumer grade video mixing hardware to generate flat geometrical abstractions based on preset patterns used to graphically combine or transition between images.  Instead of using the video wipes for their default functions Boyce feeds the output signal back into itself. These feedback-based compositions are characterized by complex chromatic modulations, where hard edge abstractions recede into elusive color fields. This indexical approach to composition emphasizes the repetition of the framing edge in a way that exploits the inherent properties of the video signal. Using these abstractions as a starting point, he extrudes these flat 2 dimensional images into deep illusionistic space, turning them into optically complex and implicitly sculptural interiors that tease out the latent science-fictional dimensions of modernist abstraction.

Foregrounding the inherent properties of both analog and digital imaging processes the feedback based 2d compositions derived from inherently analog processes are extruded into and wrapped around 3d animation scenes that emphasize the specificity of digital material through simulations of refracted light, reflective surfaces and dynamic collisions. In the case of Parallel Series I the ambiguous visual texture of the image is further complicated by multiple layers of re-mediation in which the image is repeatedly shot off of a CRT monitor then re-integrated to cleanly rendered material. In this way he extends the recursive logic of video feedback to a working method, structuring an analogous relationship between the compositional process and material substrate.

Rhythmically alternating between the 2d image and its 3 dimensional extrusion, the work stages a dialectical collision between two perceptual modes where modernist opticality collides with more visceral and disorienting experience associated with Op art.  Furthermore, this process of extrapolating 2d abstractions into 3d scenes essentially makes abstractions representational.  By forcing the abstractions to signify as quasi-thematic sculptural interiors the work posits a reversal of a modernist directionality in which abstraction derives from the gradual removal of representation.

Boyce punctuates his work with various graphical and symbolic elements functioning as spatio-temporal diagrams partially elucidating the formal procedures of the work while facilitating the cognitive apprehension of its shape in time. These structurally reflexive elements push toward a heightened level of temporal abstraction that works against the advances of pictorial representation and emphasize abstraction as a conceptual process as well as a pictorial status.

Through a synthesis of tactics relating to Structural/Materialst filmmaking, Language Poetry and Serialist music composition, Boyce applies a procedural approach to organizing intuitively developed abstractions.