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Mediated Nature

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Sunday, 15 August 2021

Video works from SBMA's growing collection in this area explore how the contemporary experience of nature has been shaped and influenced by current media technologies. With the Ala Story Gallery now dedicated to new media, this inaugural installation features American artist Diana Thater's Untitled (Butterfly video wall #1) (1998), a mesmerizing six-monitor floor installation focusing on the evanescent fluttering wings of monarch butterflies. A digitally-derived still life painting by Petra Cortright joins a selection of her constantly shifting and engaging landscape videos, which demonstrate how Cortright has used the Internet as an artistic tool, source and material. Also on view are two newly acquired videos of yellow-flowering plants by the Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung, which present fascinating slowly-changing images of nature that blend and challenge Eastern and Western still-life painting traditions.

Image: Diana Thater, Untitled (Butterfly video wall #1), 1998. Flat panel monitors, DVD player, synchronizer and orange gels. SBMA, Museum purchase, the Suzette Morton Davidson Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. ©Diana Thater

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1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Barbara Museum of Art , Santa Barbara

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