Collaborations in Light - Reel

CREATIVE COLLABORATORS: Jonathan Smith • Tai Rodrig • Udo Gyene • Norm Reed • Robin Bisio

MUSIC: Michael Long

Deep Blue Plastic

This four-screen video enironment was commissioned by World Animal Protection for the "Entangled" exhibit at The Animal Museum in Los Angeles.  At once colorful and threatening, the piece offers a proxy experience of plastics in our oceans.

Department of Light & Power: Fish Swarm Isla Vista

The Department of Light & Power was founded by Ethan Turpin for the Light Works IV festival with collaboration from Tai Rodrig and Udo Gyene in 2016.  DLP’s mission is to innovate video technologies for play and social engagement beyond traditional public art spaces.

Burn Cycle: Walk Into Wildfire

In “Walk Into Wildfire”, artists Ethan Turpin and Jonathan PJ Smith arranged life-sized recordings from US Forest Service research cameras to give an otherwise unsurvivable point-of-view.  Viewers confront wildfire’s presence in this proxy experience, exploring its behavior, hazards, and beauty.

Burn Cycle: Entering Wildfire

Entering Wildfire was commissioned by the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management at the University of California Santa Barbara as part of Ethan Turpin's Burn Cycle series. By pairing observations of fire ecology with fine art aesthetics, the immersive video installation attracts audiences to confront the elemental beauty, transformative power and real world hazards of fire.  Also see Installation.

Video Feedback: Pixel Behaviors 

Life appears to emerge in patterns of pixels in this demonstration of the "Video Feedbackteria" phenomena, seen within an interactive projection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. These strange behaviors occur between a video camera and projector, without a computer.  Also see Works On Paper.

Autonomous Video Hut:


The Autonomous Video Hut (AVH) is a solar-charging shade area by day, and multi-sided video installation by night. Video artist Ethan Turpin and artist/engineer Alan Macy provide a structure consisting of 8x14 foot screens for multi-projection pieces and jam sessions between guest video artists. The vision and design of the AVH is to bring elements of architecture, sculpture, cinema, and video-art to audiences in remote places and alternative venues, such as empty urban lots or mountain tops. People seeing projections from outside the 'Video Hut', are invited to lounge or interact with the video inside its four walls. For some participatory visuals, the stretch fabric walls provide double-sided, ‘bendy touchscreens’ for visitors.

Making Video Feedbackteria:

Installations of "Video Feedback: Pixel Behaviors" (or "Video Feedbackteria") provide active space for contemplation of, and interaction with, the evolving optical dynamics.  Photo polymer etchings surveying some of the emergent patterns may be seen in Works On Paper.

Bee Cell:

A collaboration with Jonathan Smith.  The Bee Cell is a hexagonal chamber comprised of six frosted glass panels filled with video projection.  From outside viewers see macro imagery of bees and honeycomb structures, elegantly framed by Victorian-style molding.  Upon entering the chamber through one of its two doors, people are immersed in a bold hive-like experience of surrounding video and audio.  A mirrored ceiling creates an illusion of extended interior space and incorporates the viewer’s own image with that of the surrounding bee colony. 

 Kaleidoscopica Botanica:

The colorful voice of Amelite Galli-Curci here celebrates the creative passion and obsessive collecting of her contemporary, Ganna Walska.

In the early 20th Century, Madame Walska, with the support of six successive husbands, had a career as an opera singer, without critical approval. In 1941 she purchased a property in Montecito, California, which decades before had been a nursery known as Tanglewood. After divorcing her final husband, she began pouring her time and wealth into the estate grounds and renamed it, Lotusland. Over the next four decades she would create maze-like garden habitats of rare and otherworldly plant specimens unlike the world had ever known.

This is a tribute to her. Recorded in the nursery that furthers her vision and the future of Lotusland.

Making Stereocollision:

The Stereocollision project blends images, and sometimes text, from vintage 3D photography, resulting in hybridized scenes and narratives.