Thursday, December 2, 2010

Artist Lecture - Extreme Animals

Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman (
Extreme Animals) combine live music, video, and staged theatrics to create a unique and intriguing type of art that I have yet to see be duplicated elsewhere. I attended their show at the JCSU on September 8 not knowing what to expect, and for the first 15-20 minutes wondering if their performance was a joke. They began by showing numerous YouTube videos dealing with "tween" culture. Just as I was considering leaving this so-called "performance" art, their real artwork was presented in the form of high-energy music and synthesized sound with in-your-face videos that would make the frail of heart succumb to a mild seizure. Their mash-ups of video art appropriated from various movies, TV shows, cartoons, etc. kept my eyes glued to the screen trying to figure out what exactly I was looking at, but I was hardly able to comprehend what was in fact going on because it was all moving so quickly. Even though I did not understand what was happening, I realized I didn't need to. It seemed to me that was their intention, they were trying to bombard you with numerous images mixed and mashed up with bright, flashing colors and loud synthesized sounds. In the end, I wouldn't say that I 'liked' Extreme Animals, but it did open my eyes up to some new types of possibilities of art that I had not thought of. I have always tried to be very precise and controlling with my art work, but after watching this performance I was inspired to explore the sort of randomness that the Extreme Animals seemed to embrace in their work.

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