Having never been to a digital art exhibition, I didn’t know what to expect when I went to the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery early Friday morning. Despite the fact that it was only my friend John and I, the gallery was alive with music and sounds coming from many of the pieces on display.
More than 25 monitors were placed strategically around the open room, showing an array of computer animated short films, such as “Doll Face” by Andrew Huang.
Just shy of four minutes in length, “Doll Face” shows a jack-in-the-box-esque robot that tries desperately to mimic and become the girl on a TV screen, which has been positioned just out of reach. Painting its cold metal face into that of a beautiful porcelain doll, the robot fails as she struggles to grab the TV screen, falling to her demise and shattering after reaching the floor .
Other works included a more interactive approach, such as a piece by Santiago Echeverry, an art professor here at the University of Tampa, entitled “World.” Displayed on one of several computers set up in a central console, the screen holds clips of 210 short videos taken by Echeverry around the world on his cell phone. Some clips include that of nights spent at a nightclub in Bogot’aacute; and his nephew dancing. As a 10-second video loads, a different audio clip plays on the speaker.
Besides contributing to the gallery himself, Echeverry was also among the group who chose the pieces that made this year’s “Electronics Alive IV.” Others included Director of the gallery Dorothy Cowden and colleagues Lew Harris and Doug Sutherland. Sutherland also displayed a mixed media piece centered on the images of Gustav Dor