Parking lots, alleyways, garages and the backs of buildings — with exception of Eugene’s talented graffiti writers, few artists claim such places as their canvas.
The upcoming (sub)Urban Projections festival can be compared to murals but video art isn’t stationary. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then the moving images of videographic masterminds when projected upon the buildings of downtown Eugene must be worth millions.
Repurposing, reinvention and the celebration of work that is art-school “worthy” yet popularly entertaining is what the (sub)Urban Projections festival is highlighting. Historically, the ivory tower and gallery scenes have monopolized where art should or shouldn’t be appreciated. This clearly excluded those not on the “in” with galleries, academia or wealthy patrons. The most recent rebellion to this institutional compartmentalization has been graffiti, an art form that continues to be contested as an art form in some circles while it is praised in others. Video art, given the inherent technology required to make it (technology that has continued to become more affordable and accessible), has not been seen in the same bare-bones DIY way, but that is beginning to change. The (sub)Urban Projections festival is highlighting this change.
“It marks a cultural moment when the city’s landscape and artistic talents will be recognized in a completely unique way,” says event promoter Roya Amirsoleymani.
The city of Eugene Public Art Program and the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts have combined forces to bring this outdoor festival to the streets of downtown. The (sub)Urban Projections festival boasts the work of local video artists, as well as artists from Portland, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Germany, Canada and more.
The (sub)Urban Projections festival will hold an artist talk and reception 6-8 pm Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts. The festival also includes live performances by artists Jon Bellona, Kevin Patton and John Park. Wednesday, Nov. 16, there will be video art projected in the alley just north of 5th Avenue & Willamette, adjacent to the south wall of Red Agave. All events are FREE. — Dante Zuñiga-West