Erik Sanner Home Visual Other About


if you're a practicing artist, or a lycoming college student, or you're really into gardening, maybe you'll enjoy doing something with somebody. i hope so.


hope you can see this even if you're not a facebook user

traffic cone orange

this was meant to be at least three posts, but blogging time has been, for whatever reasons, scarce over the past x amount of time. just spent a few days down in dc and will post about that soon, but here's what i wanted to share last week. or the gist of it anyway.

afraid i would offend people by not inviting them to the opening. was more afraid that given the size of the space (small) (super-nice but small) and the number of artists included in the show (eight) plus the number of curators (three) that given the extreme frigid weather (what was it, eight degrees fahrenheit or something like that? and windy, nasty) that the opening wasn't necessarily the best time to invite people to the show. planning on being there saturday, 31 january 2009, 1pm-5pm, so if you want to stop by then and see the work, please do.

ok the story. walked from my apartment up the street towards the gallery space (about fifty-five blocks). cold, windy, camera battery died around 82nd street. following day did same thing, even with spare battery result was same, so much colder and windier, think that affected the machine. anyway, the first traffic cone i encountered, i grabbed the color, so the camera would shoot everything in black-and-white except for whatever was similar in color tone to that orange traffic cone (my camera has this feature built into it). here's one of the pictures:

anyway, i was using a still camera, but thinking "video" and "journey" and "movement" and "time-lapse." ryan had approached me about this group show he was co-curating with ad nauseum lyceum, saying the genesis was basically exploring the physical act of seeing. i suggested a version of color study might fit, mentioned one or two other things, he also had some ideas - in the end this is quite similar to what i proposed to lmcc some time ago but never made it, was never shown. right, so the physical act of seeing - when i walk, i see traffic cones, for two reasons: 1) we all do, they're usually orange, because orange is the most "attractive" (eye-magnetting) single color for us (black-and-yellow stripes being the most noticable color combination) (i read this some time ago so maybe nowadays people think differently but anyway); and, 2) i'm always on the lookout for traffic cones which i don't want to go into right now because i want to go to bed.

ok anyway so as i'm walking i'm seeing traffic cones. and the best way (in my opinion) to look at traffic cones is to view them while walking. so there's the second "physically seeing" aspect, i'm walking, sure, but what i'm really doing is physically going to look at traffic cones. anyway, so i'm taking pictures of every traffic cone i see, between my place and the gallery. but i'm "filming" even though i'm using a still camera. i'm "filming" by taking pictures more frequently or less frequently, and by slowing down or speeding up while i'm walking. show all those stills one after the other quickly and you end up feeling like it's choppy video. speeds up when there are no cones visible (i'm walking faster and also taking pictures less frequently), slows down when cones appear (i'm slowing down and also taking more pictures).

my first time experimenting with that technique, so i did end up doing a little bit of editing, to get it closer to what i was imagining (rate of speeding up and slowing down). also, the first day i forgot to rotate the camera ninety degrees, so i took care of that.

up at the space, installed the projector:

which gave me this nice shape:

attached orange paper to the wall and cut it in the same shape, here you're seeing blue light projected from the video projector (no dvd playing) onto orange paper:

like i mentioned earlier, prior to the opening, i was thinking "if each of the artists and curators brings one friend with them and we all show up, that's twenty people. if there are more than twenty people in this space, somebody's going to want to go outside. it's bitterly, awfully cold out there. i'll invite people another time." happily, we had a steady stream of interested-seeming viewers, and the space never got depressingly-barren nor cramped and awkwardly full. you can see some orange light in the rear, that's leaking from my installation, it's in a small alcove in the back, opposite a piece by ryan.

here's a still (video to come) of my piece:

here's another still (video to come):

this is something that came up during the opening. katharine wanted to interact with the piece even though it's not an interactive piece (yet) (in its current configuration). or who knows what she wanted. anyway she was posing and i stepped back through ryan's hanging-curtain-photography piece, and took this picture. katharine said "looks like photoshop but that's not photoshop" (or something to that effect) so here it is - a real-life image, from last thursday evening, virtual life leaking into real life, as it will continue to do, i believe, at an ever-accelerating pace.

finally, the statement i wrote about the piece, for the exhibition. i might rewrite this. anyway hope you enjoy, and hope to see you on saturday, 31 january 2009.

- erik

traffic cone orange
erik sanner
new media installation
dimensions variable

traffic cone orange

this piece is part of an ongoing exploration into our experience of color, integrating projected (e.g., emitted from a cellphone display) and reflective (e.g., paint) color. furthermore, i hope to inspire traffic cone appreciation (via observation) as a worthy aesthetic undertaking.

since i've been projecting colors onto colors (e.g., projecting red video footage of raspberries being eaten onto yellow pineapples), it occurred to me that it might be fun to come up with a new vocabulary for these color combinations, treating them as single colors instead of referring to them as hyphenated pairs (e.g,. red-on-yellow). by projecting orange traffic cones onto orange paper, i hope to create a kind of hyper-orange, which i am calling traffic cone orange.

my love affair with traffic cones began about fifteen years ago. anywhere i go, if traffic cones are present, i notice them, and frequently photograph them. i believe that traffic cones are close cousins of visual art, since like paintings their primary function is to be looked at. there are a host of unique qualities manufactured into traffic cones, depending on the time of creation and where they were produced. (for example, although we think of traffic cones as being orange, yellow cones are not uncommon in new york city.) the wear and tear meted out to traffic cones by time, weather, and more brutal encounters with heavy machinery or automobiles gives them all a distinct look, almost a personality. and the arrangement of cones in relation to their surroundings and each other is frequently baffling, occasionally sublime.

traffic cone orange incorporates images from two walks from my apartment to this gallery space, about fifty-six blocks up the street with no turns. i took many pictures in which everything is black-and-white except for anything approaching the same deep orange as the first traffic cone encountered on that walk. furthermore, i slowed down and took more pictures of the traffic cones than the rest of the view up the street. all of these pictures are shown in rapid succession as a video clip, which is projected onto orange paper. anytime a cone is visible, you will see orange-on-orange, or traffic cone orange.

proof of concept

in a way color study and miami blue already showed this. but i wanted to show ryan what i have in mind for thursday.

this is a picture:

this is that picture p
rojected onto the chair cushion you see in the picture:

but what i'm making won't quite be as "pure" as this - but i love the traffic cones - so maybe it's "purer" in that it's more definable as "art" by being further removed from the reality of the thing - anyway it's a tiny space and it might be cold out but you're welcome to swing by thursday night. or email me, i might be able to meet up some other time.