Kent Lambert, Reckoning 3, HD video, color, sound, 2013, 11' 14"
Kent Lambert's impressive 2014 video work, RECKONING 3, is now in the public domain and available online.
Comprising sequences, images, and sounds culled from popular video games, this work is an anthropological and performative exploration of the contemporary mediascape. Produced over a period of two years, RECKONING 3 deals with five key themes:
1. Terror and wonder in big-budget virtual worlds
2. The mutability, fragility and loneliness of technologically mediated social identities and friendships
3. The queerness and malevolence of archetypal masculinity
4. The diminishing distance between "real" and "artificial" humanity
5. The poetics of blockbuster aesthetics
Like Christian Marclay (think The Clock), Lambert creates a novel narrative by stitching together sequences and scenes from a variety of sources, mainly movies and videogames. This insistent juxtaposition not only suggests a complete identification between the avatar and the movie star (=avastar?). It also creates new meanings. This accumulation results in a chaotic, overwhelming cacophonic viewing/aural experience. Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Michael Douglas - among others - turn into digital characters without necessarily morphing into each other: this ain't Terminator. Both "actors" often repeat robotic moves, as in a trance. Split screens, hypnotic circular movements, and slo-mo emphasize the artificial nature of such construct. Characters scrutinize each other through binoculars and interact via headphones, engaging in a asynchronous, intermediated dialogue: this is the cinema of videogames, but also the games of cinema. Even Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel interact with an early infrared motion game controller. A sequence from Reign Over Me is astutely appropriated and subverted. There's also gender play: "MALE" and "FEMALE" are nothing more than a menu choice, not destiny. Moreover, Lambert examines the peculiar phenomenon on online communication through technological prostheses such as controllers, buttons, and microphones. The artist provides a taxonomy of gestures, protocols, and procedures. Rather than participating in the conversations Lambert recorded them, playing the role of the ethnographer in a virtual world.
Kent Lambert (b. 1976, Colorado Springs, Colorado) is a Chicago-based musician and media artist. His creative output primarily consists of 1) vocal driven art-pop music and 2) pop-inflected video art made from repurposed industrial and commercial media. His ever-mutating band Roommate has been performing stateside and abroad for over a decade. Their fourth album MAKE LIKE was released in 2015.
RECKONING 4 will be available from the Video Data Bank in early 2017.
LINK: Kent Lambert