INSTALLATION

Nanotech Players No 1 by Ericka Beckman

Nanotech Players

Installation of 60″x40″ Type C-prints with computer controlled lighting and audio.
1989

Description:
“Through a series of color photographs and corresponding light- and sound-cues, Ericka Beckman transformed a room in this gallery into an uncommon environment that demonstrated the connection between technological and human learning. Each of the five large C-prints features one of the “Nanotech” players, hybrid creations of light and motion (captured by prolonged camera exposures), which resemble proposed robot designs from the ’50s… The artist set up the room as an arena of the imagination, utilizing various visual clues and symbols. Sequential movement was implied through a specific ordering of particular sounds transmitted though speakers.” — J. Schwendenwein, ARTFORUM (October, 1988)

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Boundary Figures at Kunsthalle Bern, Installation View 3

Boundary Figures

Installation of 60″x40″ Type C-prints with computer controlled lighting and audio.
1989

Description:
“If Disney made a live-action Little Mermaid, keeping all the overly bright, chipper colors of the animated version but adhering faithfully to Hans Christian Andersen’s cruel original tale, a scene like the one in Ericka Beckman’s Boundary Figures photograph might appear. The crumpled feminine figure, laid out in some kind of cove and wearing something pink and scaly, might be the mermaid after she’s sacrificed herself for love. The photograph, made by smart, genre-bending Beckman in 1989, hangs as one in a series of three at Cherry & Martin [2016]. The others include a scarecrow in shadows and an ethereal figure who’s half geisha, half jellyfish. Spotlights come on and focus on one image at a time, with specific soundtracks played for each. It’s the incredible competence with which Beckman has executed these eerie, not-quite-comprehensible situations that makes them so memorable.” — Catherine Wagley, LA Weekly (May 2014)

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GITSO TRUST (1988) by Ericka Beckman at Time Square, New York, NY

GITSO Trust

Electronic sign display
1988

Description:
“From August 1 through August 31, 1988, a 30-second computer animated message by artist Ericka Beckman will be broadcast from the Spectacolor lightboard at One Times Square. Beckman’s message titled “Advertisement for GITSO TRUST,” will run every twenty minutes, appearing within a loop of commercial advertisements.

Beckman’s message is an advertisement for a fictional Japanese corporation, “GITSO TRUST,” that is “here to help manage America’s future.” The message, which uses images of tractors standing abandoned in a field and a red sun with the GITSO TRUST logo rising over America, reers to the farm crisis in America as well as the increasing control of technology by Japanese industry. It reminds the viewer of America’s domestic difficulties and the growing influence of Japan on our economy.” — The Public Art Fund Inc. press release, July 1988

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Memory Core (1983) by Ericka Beckman at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC

Memory Core

Installation with synchronized lights and audio
1983

Description:
“To date, Ericka Beckman has presented her ideas mainly in the context of film. In her installation, which flashes on and off, the viewer sees a cowboy referred to as the Bandit, who is made of horse shoes meeting at the waist with a six shooter in each hand and cowboy hat floating between, where the head should be. This figure is seen through a hole torn in a wall separating it from the viewer. The room in front of this is black with gold balls dangling from the ceiling by elastic strings. The bandit is lit from behind by a translucent wall of white light. Everything is figuratively animated by a repeating sound track that features a shrill voice taunting the listener with a catchy, but unsettling, rock melody. The sound of gun shots gives emphasis to the beat. The whole installation functions as a kind of warning sign/logo whose subject really is the equivocality of social signs: is the Bandit Robin Hood or Ronald Reagan? Are we to side with him or fear him? Is he the object of our fear or a sign to remind us to watch out? Its essential ambiguity suggests dependency on a surrounding social context.” – James Casebere

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Grand Galop (1983) by Ericka Beckman

Grand Galop

Installation, synchronized audio and lights
1983

Description:
“To date, Ericka Beckman has presented her ideas mainly in the context of film. In her installation, which flashes on and off, the viewer sees a cowboy referred to as the Bandit, who is made of horse shoes meeting at the waist with a six shooter in each hand and cowboy hat floating between, where the head should be. This figure is seen through a hole torn in a wall separating it from the viewer. The room in front of this is black with gold balls dangling from the ceiling by elastic strings. The bandit is lit from behind by a translucent wall of white light. Everything is figuratively animated by a repeating sound track that features a shrill voice taunting the listener with a catchy, but unsettling, rock melody. The sound of gun shots gives emphasis to the beat. The whole installation functions as a kind of warning sign/logo whose subject really is the equivocality of social signs: is the Bandit Robin Hood or Ronald Reagan? Are we to side with him or fear him? Is he the object of our fear or a sign to remind us to watch out? Its essential ambiguity suggests dependency on a surrounding social context.” – James Casebere

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