I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it. I free myself for today and forever from human immobility.
– Dziga Vertov (1896-1954), Soviet avant-garde filmmaker and cinema theorist
The Department of Art & Art History and Rowe Galleries present Mechanical Eye, March 13-29, with an opening reception Monday, March 13, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Mechanical Eye features the work of Rob Carter, McColl Center for Art + Innovation/UNC Charlotte Artist-in-Residence, and students in Associate Professor of Art Jeff Murphy's Video Art course.
Each year the UNC Charlotte Department of Art & Art History partners with the McColl Center for Art + Innovation to provide a special educational experience for students through hosting a shared Artist-in-Residence. The McColl artist joins a UNC Charlotte faculty member to teach a spring semester course, culminating in an exhibition in Rowe Galleries, as well as events and activities at McColl.
The work in this exhibition can loosely be termed video art, an evolving and ambiguous term. However, all the pieces shown here relate in some way to Dziga Vertov’s seminal 1929 film, Man with a Movie Camera. The subject is the local Mecklenburg area in all its diversity, viewed through the varied mechanical eyes of 16 different artists. Each video focuses on one aspect of the city or county that the student considers interesting, controversial, or underrepresented. Students have chosen an array of topics -- from ethnic cuisines to playgrounds and from farming to sports -- to create an experiential and informative portrait of the Charlotte area.
Alongside the 15 student videos, Rob Carter will show a new video work titled Catawba. Using both video and animation techniques, it is a brief portrait of the significance of the local river, its manipulation, and the places gained and lost by the formation of Lake Norman.