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27 NOVEMBER 2011

Anne Spalter: Traffic Circle

New York debut of Anne Morgan Spalter
@ Stephan Stoyano/LuxeGallery
November 29, 2011– January 6, 2012

"Stephan Stoyanov/Luxe Gallery is pleased to announce the inaugural New York City solo show of Anne Morgan Spalter, a new–media pioneer who initiated and taught the first fine arts new media courses at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1990 and Brown University in 1992. Spalter's exhibition, Traffic Circle, is a milestone in her two–decade odyssey in integrating art and technology. Spalter draws on centuries of work in the landscape genre but brings a new perspective on the modern landscape.

With works created exclusively for this exhibition, Spalter introduces geometrically patterned video works generated from footage she shoots in traffic, from aerial perches, at airports, and on the highway. Several pieces feature iconic New York City landmarks such as Rockefeller Center. The rhythmically structured compositions isolate or abstract features and motion of the landscape, highlighting the passage of taxis down 5th Avenue, for example, and the soaring of planes on takeoff. Inspired by her mathematical background and interest in Islamic art, she uses a symmetrical kaleidoscopic framework to brings order to complexity.

Spalter's art has explored the concept of the 'modern landscape' since first shown publicly at the deCordova Museum in 1992. She draws on her travels and her digital photographic and video database to create still and moving pieces. Works are realized as prints, intimate screen–based works, and large–scale screen and projection works: her work was shown this past summer at Big Screen Plaza's 30–foot LCD screen in New York City as part of Leaders in Software Art (LISA) and at the RISD Museum of Art's Open Call Video Art Screening Program."

(Anne Morgan Spalter)

5). Exhibition Press Release.

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TAGS

2011 • 5th Avenue • aerialairportAnne Spalterartart and technologyartistBrown Universitycompositioncomputer artdesign formalismdigital artdigital photographyexhibitionfine artgeometric patterngeometry • highway • iconicIslamic • Islamic art • kaleidoscopelandscape • Luxe Gallery (New York) • mathematicsmirrored effect • modern landscape • motorwaynew mediaNew York City • new-media pioneer • North American artistpatternRhode Island School of Design • rhythmic • RISD • Rockefeller Center • screen-based works • solo exhibition • solo show • Stephan Stoyanov • symmetrical patternsymmetry • taxi • traffic • Traffic Circle • video art • video works • visual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 JANUARY 2011

Britains road traffic signs developed as unified national system

"Jock Kinneir and his assistant, Margaret Calvert, were the first professional designers of a national system of road traffic signs. Elsewhere it is still usual for this to be done by engineers and surveyors–and it shows. Kinneir's work, starting with the motorway system from 1957, was new. Existing signs did not meet standards of salience, conspicuity and discriminability, to support drivers' planning and execution of often safety–critical decisions–at speed, sometimes under adverse conditions."

(Paul Stiff, Winter 2010, Eye magazine)

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TAGS

1960s • Akzidenz Grotesk (typeface) • British Rail • British road signage • communication designcommunication designersdesign systemsdestination identificationdirectional informationgraphic information design • Heathrow Airport • Herbert Spencer • information design • instructional systems design • Jock Kinneir • Margaret Calvert • Ministry of Transport • motorway • motorway network • pictogram systempictorial systems • Rail Alphabet (typeface) • Richard Kinneir • road signage • road signssans-serif typeface • sign systems • signagesignage designstandardisationstreet signsymbol system • Transport (typeface) • typefacetypographer • Typographica (typography) • unified design vocabulary • unified visual language • United Kingdomvisual communicationvisual informationvisual language • visual sign systems • visual system

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 JANUARY 2011

8 1/2 film intro shows protagonist in arrested moment

"Opening the film is a title card introducing the producer, the title of the film, and the film's director. That cuts to a tracking shot of a car in traffic, and then another cut to a shot from above the cars to show the congestion (this shot tracks them from right to left). At the end of that shot, there is a cut to the back of the main character, Guido's, head. The camera then moves to the left and shows the two people in the car sitting next to him. The camera comes back to Guido in his own car as he begins wiping the inside of his windshield. Smoke begins to fill the car. Guido plays with the buttons in the car and desperately tries to escape. There is another cut to a shot of people hanging out of a bus and people stuck in their cars. They seem to be frozen in time. The film then cuts to another shot, this time from outside the car, of Guido trying to get out. The camera pans to a man who is staring at Guido from another car. After we see Guido pounding at the window, the shot cuts to a man touching a woman's arm in another car. The camera then pans to more cars waiting in traffic and then finally comes back upon Guido's smoke–filled car. The shot then cuts to Guido finally making it out of the car through the window. He climbs atop the car. Then the shot cuts to another shot of a man in a different car watching him intently. The camera zooms out and we see the bus and then Guido somehow floating atop the cars, out of the traffic. The shot then cuts to his legs and tilts upwards to show his entire backside, his coat waving the wind, and him slowly raising his arms towards the sky. Then there is a cut (fade–in) to Guido flying through the sky, then another to just the clouds. As the camera glides through the clouds, it is ambiguous of whether there is another cut or if the camera just happens upon a structure of some sort. Then there is a solid cut to a man atop a horse that is galloping on a beach. We see a man in a white shirt tugging a rope. The shot then cuts to another shot of a leg with a rope wrapped around it, and we can see the man in the white shirt and the man on the horse on the ground in the background. The scene then cuts again to the man in the white shirt running around the beach tugging on the rope, and then again to the foot with the rope (which the man is trying to get off). The sequence then cuts again to the man who was on the horse holding papers, then to the body of the man whose foot was tied to the rope being tugged down and falling into the ocean."

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TAGS

1963 • 8 1/2 • arresting momentsarresting time • beginning sequence • black and whitebuscarclaustrophobic spacesdream sequencedrivingfamous sceneFederico Fellinifrozen in the momentfrozen in timefrozen momentgassing • Gianni Di Venanzo • in media resinfluential works • intro sequence • introduction • introductory sequence • Italian cinema • Marcello Mastroianni • motorway • opening sequence • Otto e mezzo • threshold spacetime slowed downtraffic congestion • traffic jam • trapped

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 FEBRUARY 2004

non-places: when functionality is prized more highly than experience

"But the real non–places of supertnodernity – the ones we inhabit when we are driving down the motorway, wandering through the supermarket or sitting in an airport lounge waiting for the next flight to London or Marseille – have the peculiarity that they are defined partly by the words and texts they offer us: their 'instructions for use', which may be prescriptive ('Take right–hand lane'), prohibitive ('No smoking') or informative ('You are now entering the Beaujalais region'). Sometimes these are couched in more explicit and codified ideograms (an road signs, maps and tourist guides), sometimes in ordinary language. This establishes the traffic conditions of spaces in which individuals are supposed to interact only with texts, whose proponents are not individuals but 'moral entities' or institutions (airports, airlines, Ministry of Transport, commercial companies, traffic police, municipal councils); sometimes their presence is explicitly stated ('this road section financed by the General Council', 'the state is working to improve your living conditions'), sometimes it is only vaguely discernible behind the injunctions, advice, commentaries and 'messages' transmitted by the innumerable 'supports' (signboards, screens, posters) that form an integral part of the contemporary landscape.

France's well–designed autoroutes reveal landscapes somewhat reminiscent of aerial views, very different from the ones seen by travellers on the old national and departmental main roads. They represent, as it were, a change from intimist cinema to the big sky of Westerns. But it is the texts planted along the wayside that tell us about the landscape and make its secret beauties explicit. Main roads no longer pass through towns, but lists of their notable features – and, indeed, a whole commentary – appear on big signboards nearby. In a sense the traveller is absolved of the need to stop or even look. Thus, drivers batting down the auto route du sud are urged to pay attention to a thirteenth–century fortified village, a renowned vine–yard, the 'eternal hill' of Vezelay, the landscapes of the Avallonnais and even those of Cezanne (the return of culture into a nature which is concealed, but still talked about). The landscape keeps its distance, but its natural or architectural details give rise to a text, sometimes supplemented by a schematic plan when it appears that the passing traveller is not really in a position to see the remarkable feature drawn to his attention, and thus has to derive what pleasure he can from the mere knowledge of its proximity."

(Marc Augé pp.96–97)

Augé, Marc. 1995 Non–Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, London/New York, : Verso.

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