Arts & Leisure

By Jasmine Agnes T. Cruz, Reporter

Like moths to the light

Posted on June 04, 2014

YOU COULD almost bump into the people within the darkened room at Artinformal gallery, barely noticing them in the gloom. Your eyes zero in on three videos, the rectangular screens calling you to look at a ray of light between a gradient of blue that eclipses into black, a diagonal streak going up and down the side of a black plane, and a white square as though a window that witnesses a fiery explosion. While you watch, your ears are filled with a storm-like hum.

ABSOLUTE FUTURE, ABSOLUTE PAST 2 by Charles Buenconsejo, video installation.
Aside from the videos, Charles Buenconsejo’s exhibit Unending Void features light boxes in another part of the gallery. Though his creations look like patterns of neon lights, the artist said that they are simply video recordings of a cardboard box.

He took this cardboard box to the rooftop of a condominium in the Ortigas area and recorded the light passing through the slits and square openings of the box. He picked a location that faced the sun and waited there from 5:30 to 10 a.m. The sun’s light was captured as steady or moving white lines, and the sunrise was a detonation of orange.

He wanted to stay there longer, but his camera couldn’t handle shooting the whole day. “My mind just wandered (while waiting),” said Mr. Buenconsejo, a 2013 Ateneo Art Award-winner, told BusinessWorld last week. “I did not get bored.”

Though his focus was on capturing the light, his videos inevitably picked up the ambient sounds from the nearby MRT and the passersby.

He said the project all began with his curiosity with light. “We are like moths,” he said. “We are all attracted to the light.”

“Why do we like fireworks? Why do we want to look at it?” he added in mixed English and Filipino. “Why are the people from the province attracted to the lights of the city? Why are you attracted to the light on your television, computer, or cellphone? That’s how it all started. I just got curious why.”

As the boxes accumulate on the screen, a vertical or horizontal row of squares flicker or a number of adjacent quadrants combust in brilliant orange. Though they seem like they were deliberately arranged, Mr. Buenconsejo said that these rhythmic patterns were not something he intended.

All he did was to center on either videoing a slit on the cardboard box, a close-up shot of that slit, or a square opening in the box. Then, using video software, the initial image was multiplied twice, four times, eight times, and so on.

He also played with the duration of the videos within each piece. Though the images within one piece are the same shot, some went faster while others slowed down.

“It syncs on its own,” he said, begging off from explaining how binary numbers naturally bring about this harmony.

“That’s just the law of the universe.”

The exhibit runs until June 9. Also being shown at Artinformal is Sandra Fabie-Gfeller’s exhibit Night Blooming. Artinformal gallery is located at 277 Connecticut St., Greenhills East, Mandaluyong. For details