Drawings, Installations & Video Art

Follow my studio blog on Instagram @tapeglitch

Contact for images, inquiries or to schedule a studio visit

Signal / Noise

Solo show featuring drawings by Visakh Menon. Curated by: Sunhee Yoon

10/13–10/30, 2016 Opening reception: 10/13/2016 5:00–7:30pm | Fairleigh Dickinson University

This series of works on paper are conceptually based on various digital image compression algorithms and interpolation which is then translated to paper using a unique process combining the frottage (rubbings) and collage and paying homage to geometric abstraction and color field paintings.

The multi-step process involves rubbing clear double sided archival tape on colored charcoal & pastels and then collaging several layers of the now colored translucent tape to create subtle effects of pixellation & hue shifts.


View 83

2015

View 83 is a video collaboration between the band Heavy Birds and video artist Visakh Menon. Conceptually the video centers on the transformation & distortion of landscapes as seen in nature and those created via the digital realm. The viewing & recording of these landscapes through optical devices and screens, produces spatial and temporal distortions in light and perspective so as challenging our perception, memory and experience of the moments we witness in them. Visually the video is multi-layered non narrative journey across various national parks of America intermixed with motion graphics and sound reactive digital landscapes produced generatively with Processing Code. Heavy Birds approached the music from various aspects or "views", concerning modern day recording. The initial step was recording organic instruments, including cello, guitar, organ, and drum, live, onto an Analog tape machine. The music was then mixed and reversed by utilizing Protools with another engineer. Finally, after a "thrown-out" version of a cassette transfer, the final track was re-mixed in Garageband, where a slight digital drum machine was added to aid the video visuals.  

Credits:

  • Video by Visakh Menon
  • Composed by Ryan Drag / Lia Mooney.
  • Performed by Ryan Drag (guitars),Lia Mooney (cello, organ), & Jim Laakso (percussion).
  • Recorded by Hugh Pool at Excello, and Rob Laakso at Vacation Island.
  • Mixed by R. Laakso & Heavy Birds.
  • Edits & re-mix for 'Views" project by Ryan Drag.
  • Curated by Leo Kuelbs
  •  

View 83

View 83 is a video collaboration between the band Heavy Birds and video artist Visakh Menon. Conceptually the video centers on the transformation & distortion of landscapes as seen in nature and those created via the digital realm. The viewing & recording of these landscapes through optical devices and screens, produces spatial and temporal distortions in light and perspective so as challenging our perception, memory and experience of the moments we witness in them.


This installation encapsulates the moments of loss or missed connections and creates an object hood to those memories. Each string acting as lines in a spatial network are a metaphor to a duration in time and its existence in space of that moment. The fragmented tags spread over the lines reference those singular moments of contact. A memorial for the mark, social interaction leaves on time and history.  

This installation was made possible by a CHASHAMA space grant.


New Data for Old Empires

2012-13

This work is directly influenced by the sweeping changes across the world caused by the recent revolutions and the use of technology to manifest ideology, the fight for justice and freedom of speech. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, technology at the hands of citizens has turned into a powerful tool to document and disseminate information. The old dictatorships and governments did not see this coming in its entirety, and their efforts to curb the use of technology in these scenarios has only helped fuel these crowd sourced revolts and its goals. The video projection and the works on paper, both use a common symbols of resistance, the gas mask, which has turned into a potent symbol against oppression and for protection against the use of tear gas and pepper sprays. The floating characters in the video projection all hide behind these masks providing both anonymity and protection against the forces they battle. Yet beyond the fight on the street for justice & freedom it is the tools of technology that aid them. The graphic three dimensional objects the characters carry represent facets of these technologies and the possibilities of its ever changing nature.

From independent media activist collectives to hacker groups working secretly underground, gaining the upper hand on the social media turf has become a key goal as the “old media” of TV, newspapers and radio lose their stand as state controlled media. For many who have long argued that these tools will help topple autocratic nation-states, recent events in the Middle East & South east Asia seemed to offer long-awaited corroboration. To those less certain of the structural importance of such tools, it was easy to cry foul of the media’s role in hyping the techno-utopian story line. The fact still remains that the distributed nature of these revolts & the en masse gathering of youth have both proven the role of technology as the Achilles heel for these authoritarian regimes.

Limited editon DVD box set (10) with original drawing.

New Data for Old Empires

This work is directly influenced by the sweeping changes across the world caused by the recent revolutions and the use of technology to manifest ideology, the fight for justice and freedom of speech. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, technology at the hands of citizens has turned into a powerful tool to document and disseminate information. The old dictatorships and governments did not see this coming in its entirety, and their efforts to curb the use of technology in these scenarios has only helped fuel these crowd sourced revolts and its goals. The video projection and the works on paper, both use a common symbols of resistance, the gas mask, which has turned into a potent symbol against oppression and for protection against the use of tear gas and pepper sprays. The floating characters in the video projection all hide behind these masks providing both anonymity and protection against the forces they battle. Yet beyond the fight on the street for justice & freedom it is the tools of technology that aid them. The graphic three dimensional objects the characters carry represent facets of these technologies and the possibilities of its ever changing nature.


Found objects, glue, video player
Single Channel video

This work honors our current battle against the spam bots and trolls online. A CAPTCHA is a series of distorted words and/or number combinations that users are asked to fill out while completing online forms to ensure that the user is a real human and not an automated program created to trick the system.


Found objects, glue, video player
Single Channel video

This work experiments with object making incorportating a non linear narrative. The installation acts a surreal fictional scene with an elaborate MacGuffin at the center. A MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is "a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction". The defining aspect of a MacGuffin is that the major players in the story are (at least initially) willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to obtain it, regardless of what the MacGuffin actually is.

Red-Blue-green

Whether we acknowledge the message or not, we are living in a world where a every turn of your head there is a message being communicated using traditional or new media. These communications are persistent and repetitive, which forms the basis of the video art work RED-BULE-GREEN. The video in its core message is analytical of the idea of "trends" which the media perpetrates. In the real work the color red is always the color red with its emotional and qualitative references, but with the idea of trends those references switch to other colors especially to convey a development or change in tendency with regard to fashion, seasons and product color relationships.

Red-Blue-green

Whether we acknowledge the message or not, we are living in a world where a every turn of your head there is a message being communicated using traditional or new media. These communications are persistent and repetitive, which forms the basis of the video art work RED-BULE-GREEN. The video in its core message is analytical of the idea of "trends" which the media perpetrates. In the real work the color red is always the color red with its emotional and qualitative references, but with the idea of trends those references switch to other colors especially to convey a development or change in tendency with regard to fashion, seasons and product color relationships.

A short social commentary on dancing in Second Life

Part machinima, part documentary, the video aims to give a glimpse at the mechanical nature of our virtual lives. Narrated from the point of view of my avatar on second life, a conceded old man, this short video critiques the practise of using dance pods on Second life as a means to earn linden dollars. Complaining about the lack of choreography and the time wasted, the narrator here views the dancing with contempt and offers a smattering of the expected advice. The act of a user patiently siting at this computer while watching his virtual avatar dance and earn money when viewed from an real world perspective, is a contrasting physical activity which requires further discussion.

Screenings:
The 15th Chicago underground film festival
ArtCast- Podcastable video art series by folly.co.uk

A short social commentary on dancing in Second Life

Part machinima, part documentary, the video aims to give a glimpse at the mechanical nature of our virtual lives. Narrated from the point of view of my avatar on second life, a conceded old man, this short video critiques the practise of using dance pods on Second life as a means to earn linden dollars. Complaining about the lack of choreography and the time wasted, the narrator here views the dancing with contempt and offers a smattering of the expected advice. The act of a user patiently siting at this computer while watching his virtual avatar dance and earn money when viewed from an real world perspective, is a contrasting physical activity which requires further discussion.

Screenings:
The 15th Chicago underground film festival
ArtCast- Podcastable video art series by folly.co.uk