eyeTEASers: Art Podified

On Thursday June 22nd, 2006 The Escape Artist’s Society (TEAS) unveiled eyeTEASers: Art Podified; Vancouver’s first showcase of video artwork for the Apple iPod.

eyeTEASers presented some initial forays into podspace: from abstract contemplation pieces to quirky viral shorts—from live music performance to pure eyecandy. The artists showcased were a mix of local and international emerging and established artists. Participants were able to rent out (for up to 20 minutes) a curated selection of video complete with an iPod and speaker stand directly to their table for their communal viewing pleasure: video to share, talk about, and to redefine space. At the end of the evening, we auctioned off 6 weeks of exclusive personal viewing rights for each of the video submissions—in a sense, the winner bought the right to personally hoard the work or to share it with the world, at was their whim. After 4 weeks, all the works were made available to download to the video iPod from the TEAS website.

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(Original Curatorial Statement) The iPod is the ‘Walkman’ of the early 21st century— it has moved beyond popularity to become one of those ubiquitous cultural elements defining this time and place (along with low carb diets and terrorist threats). We can’t underestimate the impact ‘podification’ will have on audio and video – just as audio-only ‘Podcasts’ are reviving the radio star, video iPods will change the way we view and distribute digital video.

The ability to view and share video almost anywhere may seem mundane at first, but it truly explodes production and viewing context for digital video works. There will be something very different about the kinds of things you will view on a small hand-held than what you’ll see displayed or projected on a screen (unless of course you’re VJing off the ‘pod).  This is an exciting opportunity for video artists who refuse to abandon the space to ad agencies and major record labels.

Rather than just repurposing their work, eyeTEASers artists were asked to consider the implications of tiny screens (sure it’s a challenge for visibility; but also a great format for fast, low resolution clips); the ‘share’ (even ‘viral’) factor of portable video, the intimacy of a personal media player; and finally both the ephemeral nature of digital video and the opportunity to spend a bit more time with video art.

The Escape Artists Society also promises to fill the Foundation Lounge’s (new! expanded!) space with the usual TEAS goodies—installation work from emerging artists, and a screening of video ephemera both on and off the ‘pod until the wee hours.