ARTIST: Olivia Robinson
TITLE: Imbalanced Ambivalence
MATERIALS: LCD screen, antique box, crank, video
DIMENSIONS: 33" x 11" x 16"
'Imbalanced Ambivalence' is an interactive video sculpture
made up of an LCD screen imbedded in an antique box with an
attached small crank. When the viewer turns the crank on the
box, a video fades into the LCD screen. The video is shot using
a tiny camera and captures unusual angles of a woman dressing
in a nurse's uniform. As she dresses, small clips of the patient
who is waiting are spliced in. Because of the placement of the
camera, at times the images become abstract. The playback of
the video is linked to the crank which gives the impression
that the viewer is actually turning the frames of the video
as old film reels may have worked. When the crank stops moving
the video fades out and will start again at the beginning the
next time it is manipulated. My own accordion music is the soundtrack
to the video.
I adopted a feral kitten from a librarian at school, thinking
feral meant the same as stray. She was not like any other cat
I had met before -- a ball of hissing, scratching, hiding fur.
I brought her home and I named her Pearl. Everyday for the next
two weeks, I located her new hiding place, checked if she had
eaten, and tried to interact without getting attacked. Just
at the point I thought this was a big mistake I dangled a string
in front of Pearl and she came out of her hiding place. This
string made her forget that I was a stranger and gave us a way
to be together. I think art making is like the string.
I have worked with a variety of mediums and situations -- photography,
video, inflatable sculpture, performance, community art, collaborative
art, solo art -- and continually return to this story about
the string. Trying new mediums and technology distracts me enough
to experience a new side of myself and build relationships.
I often think of myself as a craftsperson rather than artist
because I love processes like measuring, then cutting and measuring
My most recent projects merge the highly technical with the
deeply personal. I incorporate sculpture, video, technology
and human interaction through touching, cranking or shaking.
An example is Oblivious, an interactive video installation.
An image of a naked man is projected onto a touch sensitive
table and as the image is touched by viewers, the man reacts
physically as well as fades over multiple interactions. Through
developing the technology, my string, I learned a great deal
robino AT rpi.edu