- Quit Nguyen
As the house music begins to thump and churn, Joey, Chandler and Ross appear on the screen. The beat intensifies, synthesizers swell and Joey morphs into a Storm Trooper as graphics from an old Reeses Peanut Butter Cup commercial flicker across the walls of their familiar Manhattan apartment.
By the time the song hits its throbbing crescendo, viewers see the Tootsie Pop owl, Al and Peggy Bundy, McDonalds slogans, the Hostess logo and images from Roseanne all interlaced and overlapping old sitcom clips like some pop culture acid dream.
Its called In One Ear , and its the newest interactive exhibit from DJ and new media artist David Steele Overholt on display through Sept. 2 at Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom, 1146 N. Broadway Drive.
Overholt, who teaches interactive arts at Kansas City Art Institute, uses found, purchased, gifted and stolen materials (both physical and virtual) to create installations, sculptures, videos and other engaging experiences.
For In One Ear , Overholt chose more than 200 video clips, mostly from the 1980s and 90s, to evoke a little Generation Y nostalgia among those raised in front of the TV.
Overholt said hes primarily interested in stretching boundaries between art and technology, and he seems to be blurring those boundaries quite successfully. Making good use of his masters degree in interactive telecommunications from New York Universitys Tisch School for the Arts, he has created a kaleidoscope of overlapping and interlaced video clips showcasing memory-lane staples like Seinfeld, Saved by the Bell and Full House.
Overholt and Oklahoma Contemporary have also managed to commandeer an entire radio frequency for the exhibit. Viewers can tune to 99.9 FM in Oklahoma City and listen on their ear buds to hear the corresponding soundtrack to the video art.
In One Ear is just as much technical exercise as art exhibit. The show is a complicated collaboration between the selected video and music and custom software that edits the visual and audible experiences with a randomized music playlist. The show runs through Sept. 2, but no single set of layered images will be seen twice. The stream of images and radio playlist are presented in a random order every time; patrons can say their viewing was a one-of-a-kind experience.
During prime time (7-11 p.m.), the video is projected onto the gallerys windows, presenting an alternative version of the family living room. The same video and audio are visible inside the showroom throughout the day, but with the help of a webcam, the exhibit becomes interactive, even personalized. Viewers are able to temporarily insert themselves into the videos, adding yet another layer to an already complex and beautiful visual experience.
Print headline: Immersive artistry, David Steele Overholts In One Ear ... exhibit blends video, sound and interactive elements for a truly engaging art experience.