Jim Campbell (b. 1956, Chicago) presents Tilted Plane -- a room-sized installation that tests the boundary between abstraction and representation and explores the perception and interpretation of our experiences.
Physically and technologically, Campbell has been investigating the concept of ‘exploding’ two-dimensional, digital imagery into three dimensions for several years. Exploded View (4 Films), which hung in the atrium of SFMOMA in 2012 (and is now part of their collection), Exploded View (Cowboys), commissioned in 2013 by the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and Scattered Light installed in Madison Square Park, New York (2010-11) are recent examples. In Tilted Plane, Campbell extends the concept further by expanding the distance between each light source, enabling viewers to physically enter the piece, while also significantly reducing the amount of data generating the illusion of moving imagery.
Hundreds of incandescent bulbs, with filaments replaced with LEDs, hang at varying levels, creating a tilted plane of flickering light. From one corner, a person can view the piece from ‘above,’ while from the opposite corner, one sees the piece from ‘below’. A viewer can even step into the piece and move within the hanging bulbs, experiencing the “image” from any point, direction, or angle. The flickering lights suggest images that hover on the edges of perception. While the movement is too fragmented to be fully resolved visually, the rhythms eventually become recognizable. Slowly, peripherally, one can actually observe the evolution of perception.
Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and lives in San Francisco. He received degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT in 1978. He transitioned from filmmaking to interactive video installations in the mid-1980s and has been working with L.E.D. technology since 1999. His work is in the collections of major museums including MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, LACMA, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art. His numerous public commissions include the San Diego airport, Madison Square Park in New York, the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and the new San Francisco central subway in Union Square. In 2012 he received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award and SFMOMA’s Bay Area Treasure Award.