Masterful pixelation is exemplified in Jim Campbell’s Market Street Pause, Daniel Reeves’s Avatamsaka, Woody Vasulka’s Light Revisited, No.4, and Claudia X. Valdes, The Sixth Magnitude, which pulsate with incalculable shifts in surface imaging, that Monet’s fields of bright red poppies were once seen to possess.
Politics can’t be avoided in such a topic. Claudia X. Valdés, an artist who spent several years researching nuclear arms, makes an unambiguous statement with her digital video installation 192:291. Its image holds 192 tiles, each like a small television screen, each representing a country and each containing the image of the first nuclear test broadcast live on television. As the tiles, one by one, fill the screen, a mushroom cloud spreads through each one. Narrator Walter Cronkite’s voice distorts as the explosions multiply. Then the tiles begin to disappear, one by one, until the screen is again dark and the audio goes silent. This domino effect of explosions seems to ask: If it starts, where will it stop; what will be left? “My hope is that the work will generate a reflective moment for the viewer. That when they walk away and think about the images, it will visually organize things for them,” Valdés said. “If we can locate the present in these images of a potential future, we might reconsider our actions.”