Dispatches from Abstract Currents
Left to right, top row: Nate Longcope, ashcan orchestra, Heath Iverson; middle row: STALKR, Toban Nichols, Maxwell Sørensen; bottom row: Yuge Zhou, Lawrence Lek, Alphachannel

Left to right, top row: Nate Longcope, ashcan orchestra, Heath Iverson; middle row: STALKR, Toban Nichols, Maxwell Sørensen; bottom row: Yuge Zhou, Lawrence Lek, Alphachannel

Just one month ago, the PopRally Committee sent out a call for one-minute abstract videos, and we were astounded to receive over 800 submissions from participants all over the world! All the submissions will be screened this Sunday at the special Poprally event Abstract Currents, which is held in conjunction with the exhibitions Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925 and Abstract Generation: Now in Print currently on view at MoMA. These minute-long videos open a broad window into the way abstraction endlessly inspires artists, designers, and anyone observing the peripheries of their daily life. The captured imagery ranges from bizarre to contemplative, made from small observations in nature, flowing psychedelic mutations, and digitally imagined spaces.

The outpouring of submissions inspired us to reach out to a selection of our favorite videomakers, artists, and designers and ask them to submit an abstract video especially for Inside/Out. The result is the collection of videos below, which—from playful to mesmerizing—approach the project through music, design, craft, and performance.

Jane Eastlight is a London-based artist working in video and design whose work employs an abstract cascade of densely packed information that she has described as “experiential architecture.” She most recently produced the visual identity for multifaceted musician and producer Dan Snaith’s Jiaolong label. This video is part of a suite of transfixing abstract works Eastlight created for Daphni, Snaith’s electronic dance music project.

Fresh off the heels from their MoMA PS1 exhibition, artist-designer studio CONFETTISYSTEM employs a celebratory-driven aesthetic to direct and create sets for clients that range from the fashion, art, and music industries. They worked with video artist Benjamin Florencio to create this video shot within their exhibition, 100 Arrangements, at MoMA PS1. The video captures the submersive feel of the space, exploring the site-specific materials, textures, and silhouettes.

Caitlin Mociun is the designer of the simultaneously minimal and earthy jewelry line, Mociun. Her Brooklyn shop features textiles and ceramics which recall the work of Anni Albers, reflecting the same sensitivity to geometry and craft found in her designs. This video, created for Abstract Currents, playfully builds off of Mociun’s trademark restrained, organic aesthetic.

Jon Leone is a director and editor based in Brooklyn. He has created music videos for artists such as Animal Collective, Beach House, and Polvo, and documentaries and commissioned works for clients such as NBC, IFC, and The New Yorker. Created specifically for Abstract Currents, this lush video, inspired by anticipating spring, meshes images from botanical gardens and tropical travels.

Max Headspace is a Brooklyn-based artist collective that gathers together on occasion to communally cover walls with paint and unleash creative forces. Taking place over many hours, without any set plan or agenda, these ritual-like events are captured in time-lapse video. Starting with five core members, Max gatherings have expanded over time to have up to a dozen painting at a time.

Christin Turner is a filmmaker who has directed music videos for Tamaryn, the Dum Dum Girls, and Crocodiles, and who is currently at work on a documentary about light in art. This video, created with manipulated light recorded live, was specifically produced as a projected set for Tamaryn, who will DJ the Abstract Currents event.

PopRally’s Abstract Currents event will take place from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday April 7, 2013 at MoMA. Tickets are $18 and include a last-chance viewing of Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, and drinks provided by Brooklyn Brewery and Sud de France Wines. They are available here.