Michael Lasater | 11.3 – 11.22.2008


Michael Lasater
Passing Figure, 1999
Video with Sound, stereo
Running Time: 5:00 minutes
11.3 – 11.8.2008
see video


Michael Lasater
Billboard, 2004
Video with Sound, stereo
Running Time: 5:15 minutes
11.10 – 11.15.2008
see video


Michael Lasater
Visions Fugitive, 2007
Video with Sound, stereo
Running Time: 6:00 minutes
11.17 – 11.22.2008
see video

The subject of my work often derives from issues and processes of personal psychology, especially perception, memory, personal narrative, and the construction of meaning.

As an artist, I am primarily interested in composition in video, animation, and sound as a means of exploring, discussing, and objectifying ideas and concepts. But I am also interested in the exploration of media composition for its own sake; I’m interested in vocabulary, structure, technique, and methods.

Dziga Vertov (film), Anton Webern (music), and Gerhard Richter (painting) are representative of artists who have had a significant influence on my work. Vertov’s ethos in his declaration I am cinema-eye, I am camera-eye , his development of film as a separate reality, nearly an alternative consciousness, have influenced my conception of media composition as a self-referencing language, much like music. Webern’s serial work, in which every note is a planet, every movement a universe, suggests to me not only strategies for composition and structure, but provides a firm basis for confidence in minimalist time-forms or time-objects as vehicles of significant communicative power. I am enormously attracted to the work of Gerhard Richter, who often bases his art on photographs and other preexisting sources, and whose technique includes the ability to control radically different vocabularies, often within the same frame.

Passing Figure … 11.3 – 11.8.2008
Billboard … 11.10 – 11.15.2008
Visions Fugitive … 11.17 – 11.22.2008

Atrium Gallery – Western Michigan University

Michael Lasater – South Bend Indiana

http://michaellasater.com

12 thoughts on “Michael Lasater | 11.3 – 11.22.2008

  1. Nick Hindley November 20, 2008 / 3:13 pm

    although i find all three of these videos aesthetically pleasing I am having a hard time following the message that Lasater is trying to send. trying to take the title of the pieces into account in an attempt to understand i still fall short. the simple imagery in Visions Fugitive as well as the sound is very intriguing and the kitschiness of billboard is also very pleasing … but I’m still confused over all… perhaps if i had more specific statements for each … or maybe he accomplished his goal in my confusion

  2. Adrienne Marks November 25, 2008 / 2:42 pm

    I agree with Nick. I enjoyed watching the work (except the last one which looked like a screen saver to me), but I didn’t really understand why I was watching it. Why should I care. He statement simply lists his influences and while I can see the links to Vertov’s imagined and created realities, I don’t understand why he’s creating them other than for the sake of creation itself. Which can be a perfectly reasonable reason to create something in my opinion. (I also really like the visuals in Billboard. It reminds me of something on Sesame Street.)

  3. Amber Martin November 25, 2008 / 3:41 pm

    I am too having a hard time trying to interpret the intent of the artist. Even though I have my own conclusion I also think that a more specific statement for each would help. The concept of the video Billboard is interesting to me, however I didn’t like it. When I think of billboards I think of huge advertisements that not only grab your attention like the video did but they also in some way subconsciously sell us things which we consume. Driving on the highway or walking in the city, billboards can be very overwhelming do to the size and overload of information. I do not get that feeling when I watch this video.

  4. Amber Martin November 25, 2008 / 3:43 pm

    I having a hard time trying to interpret the intent of the artist. Even though I have my own conclusion I also think that a more specific statement for each would help. The concept of the video Billboard is interesting to me, however I didn’t like it. When I think of billboards I think of huge advertisements that not only grab your attention like the video did but they also in some way subconsciously sell us things which we consume. Driving on the highway or walking in the city, billboards can be very overwhelming do to the size and overload of information. I do not get that feeling when I watch this video.

  5. Amber Martin November 25, 2008 / 4:10 pm

    I was a lot more intrigued by the Visions Fugitive video. The composition is very pleasing to the eye. I like that the moving image is just in the tv. The sound in this video make it all come together.

  6. Tracy December 2, 2008 / 3:39 pm

    The Billboard video was left open for several possible interpretations. Because the guy is left unrecognizable he stands in for any person. His over indulgence seems to metaphor the overwhelming amount of information that is placed in front of us each day. Our brain takes in this information, stores and processes it and it becomes apart of our being. What interpretations do you get? This would be interesting to see at billboard size!!

  7. Brandon Cady December 10, 2008 / 11:36 pm

    Like most of the other people commenting, I had a hard time wrapping my head around this work. In billboard until I was told the figure was actually ingesting the words, its hard to see it other than some very irritating repetitive movement. I did like the last one though, because even though you don’t seem to notice much going on, if you look closer, theres more to it than a figure watching a tv.

  8. zac December 13, 2008 / 6:11 pm

    In passing figure I enjoy the way the figure is never completely defined and the way the layers give the piece depth. The audio is unsettling in a way because of the whispering and that it is indistinct. When I read that he used multiple Buddhist sources, I wasn’t as uncomfortable with watching the figure. It left me in a state of grace, moving along with the figure fading in and out.

  9. zac December 13, 2008 / 6:21 pm

    In Billboard, the interaction with the audio and the text was playful and interesting. His statement of getting attention was a success. The use of the TV situation comedy snippets with the constant drum riff is fun in that it creates anticipation. Especially when the guy devouring is continuous yet alive in a sense…

  10. zac December 13, 2008 / 6:35 pm

    The Visions fugitive was definitely my favorite of the three. The color choice is pleasing and the way that the clouds interact with the foreground and back in the scenery sucks me straight to this place. The scene is almost surreal and the voices echoing listen, simplicity, home, openness, time, life, adds to the video as being within an act. I saw that Michael presents this piece in three separate panels which definitely adds to the sucking in effect. I feel that he was trying to leave the viewer with this contemplative feel as if it was a prolonged backtrack of his life…

  11. jake huizenga December 14, 2008 / 3:14 pm

    The contrast between the natural world, and the world of broadcast images or sounds are in stark contrast. The imagery and the sounds have alot to say about the interaction between humanity, the environment, and hyper reality.

  12. kevin G March 23, 2009 / 4:06 pm

    In Billboard, the use of the colors along with the black and white gave a strong grasp of your direction. The television clips allowed the viewer to stay and watch the entire video instead of just leaving after standing for a second. Good use to draw in people for the entire duration!

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