Part of Sundance 2010, the “New Frontier on Main” is an art exhibition designed by artists, and filmmakers who are a part of the festival this year. In an attempt to bring more art and less glitz and glamour into the festival this year, as noted by Robert Redford in the opening day press conference, the exhibition is an accessible and creative addition to the films and other festivities.
As you walk through the “New Frontier on Main,” conveniently located across the street from the Egyptian theater, you enter a large darkened room with various pieces of art including dioramas, visual pieces, and interactive video art. The main room has large dioramas of cities and storefronts called “Bordertown” by artist Tracey Snelling. The piece includes miniscule video screens and photographs expertly incorporated into the building windows, which are fascinating to look at because of the detailed work in them. One storefront which is on a separate table is a tiny liquor store with the video of “Superbad” playing inside of the window. It is interesting and fun to check out these pieces which were clearly inspired by films, and might be the inspiration for future films by these artists.
The interactive video pieces on the wall are also fun, and capture images of you as you walk by them, adding captions next to your face, comic book style. The large room at the end of the exhibit, designed by artist Petko Dourmana, has a more ‘experimental’ feel to it, where large lounge pillows are on the floor and you can lay in the darkened room and enjoy psychedelic/relaxation-inspired videos projected on three huge walls above you. It is not only interesting to watch, but can definitely relax you enough to take a nice nap in between screenings.
Actor Joseph Gordon Levitt, who was present at the exhibit for hitRECord.org, showed off this new multi-media/social networking experiment which allows different artists to collaborate on the same pieces of video/art to create one completed work that could be screened at the festival. In the hitRECord.org room at the “New Frontier on Main,” there are videos playing on the wall that are examples of these collaborations, including segments Levitt himself appears in. The exhibit shows off this innovative tool for artists and rogue filmmakers who will probably take it and run with it to create some fascinating work in the future.
The “New Frontier on Main” is a wonderful addition to the Sundance 2010 festival, and brings together a variety of artists including Nao Bustamante, Kalup Linzy, Ragnar Kjartansson, Pipilotti Rist, and Matthew Moore, among many others. The only drawback to the exhibit is that there aren’t more works included, and it seems small comparatively to the amount of artists and filmmakers who could potentially participate. The hope for future festivals would be to include more artists and expand this unique, fun, and innovative exhibition.