Kevin Obsatz - Artist Statement

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It's only been a few years since video cameras have been incorporated into every cell phone, but it won't be long until the previous era, before this phenomenon of ubiquitous image capture, fades into history.

Since we all have the power at our fingertips to create and view moving images, every hour of every day, it's easy to begin to take it for granted, to lose sight of the fact that this ability is, in fact, magic.

Only powerful magic could allow us to witness an event and store it, via a device that records the impressions made by photons of light on a tiny sensor, in perfect detail, for review at any time, in any place, even transmitted halfway around the world in mere moments.

Reconnecting with the very real magic of the moving image is an integral part of my practice as an artist. In parallel with my filmmaking adventures of recent years, I've been exploring the sociological roles of mythology, folk tales, fairy tales and Jungian archetypal psychology as tools for making sense of human experience. I believe that this academic study is closely related to the filmic techniques to which I'm drawn - I find that the primitive, textural images of hand-processed black and white film, and the geometric, architectural configurations of my video installations are evocative of the same kinds of ritualized abstraction, symbolism and metaphor that exist in the realm of half-dreams where fairy tale logic makes sense on a deep, subconscious level.

I believe that this work is important to share with other artists, with students, and with a broader audience today, as the quotidian images that pass before our eyes become progressively more banal. I'm happy to argue on behalf of magical and ritualized cinema as a mode of moving image art highly worth revisiting and reviving, and I've seen audiences respond to this work with a deep sense of recognition and an intuitive grasp of its organic integrity. Even if they don't know exactly why it looks the way it looks, they find it strangely familiar and satisfying - it speaks to them.

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