Above and below: Ilana Harris Babou, Excerpts from Untitled, 2014. HD video, Max/MSP and Processing software.
Ilana Harris-Babou’s video works foreground the ephemeral activity of studio experimentation, weaving footage of spilling acrylic paint, wrinkled cellophane, and scattered chunks of foam with excerpts from music videos. Harris-Babou disentangles and isolates the tropes of contemporary music videos, such as dissolving light, rapid editing, and dramatic camera lenses, redirecting these intoxicating effects onto inexpensive materials. Embedded in her experiments with glamorizing strategies is an examination of the time of the illusory, as objects disappear from the screen before revealing their genuine textures. Syncing her visuals to looping quotations of popular music, Harris-Babou further transforms pop culture into raw material. Familiar beats become ambient as they repeat alongside video of richly lit material and autotelic play. Harris-Babou’s recent project, a developing iPad program, orchestrates a synchrony between the tactile and the visual. With the touch of the viewer’s finger, the pacing of Harris-Babou’s manipulation of opulently lit material can accelerate and slow. The duration of the video becomes elastic, expanding and contracting at the agency of the viewer.
Text by Katherine Siboni (MODA 2015)