AMANDA MOHNEY came to the a1labarts gallery on a very hot and sweaty First Friday to see the 4D show which all UT art students of 4D media wish would happen every semester. So, it will.
The July heat may have wilted ambitions a touch on last First Friday, but a couple of one-night-only exhibitions could be found in the farther reaches of the downtown-centric night, one a multimedia show curated by local sound artist and University of Tennessee professor Seva David Ball at A1 LabArts.
First greeted by paintings hung on pegboard (“Splattering Wasp Tail,” $22; “3-legged Bird Lady,” $66), the second-most reliable attraction in the Randolph Street warehouse, once the sound was turned up, was a small screening room set up with a long reel of short films, some with title cards, many without. With patience, you’d be treated to some pleasingly hypnotic images pixilated to abstraction in all colors of the 16-bit scheme, and, later, Matthew Rooney’s lovely pixilated explosions and repeated shots of working machines, washed out into delicate lines. But it was the (not credited) jerky and saturated shots of raw meat set to jaunty music that took the prize for funny and refreshing before your attention turned to the back of the gallery, where five jumbo screens eventually (after spending the first portion of the evening showing the JVC logo) got around to featuring a repeat performance of Taylor Trumphour’s “Panoramic Lapse,” also on the short film loop. The short explores daytime activity at the Krutch Park annex, the KAT hub on Main Street, and the southeast end of Market Square through various shots at various times, lined up to create a panoramic effect. The large format was an impressive, immersive setup. Sometimes bigger is better.
But staying to view it again in full wasn’t an option, as something threatened to happen in the other room off the entrance. That turned out to be either a practice run or a real why-the-hell-not kind of performance of spoken word and music from a piano getting worked over—both on the keys and its exposed innards—and a laptop. Meanwhile, a seemingly unrelated Mac projected onto the wall, first, a student film of sparkling skies and shimmering seas, then the desktop.