Analysis Of Bill Viola's New Media Artworks

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Bill Viola, an American video artist (b.1951), is universally regarded as a pioneer of new media art. Viola first wore the medium of artistic expression in video art making and distribution in the 1970’s. Combination of filmed images and music existed in all of his works, which he calls it “total environments that envelope the viewer in image and sound.”He desired to bring out the emotions in touch with the audience and compose a profound connection that has been absent in the prior situation.

Viola’s works focus on human experiences and extremely rooted in spiritual traditions like Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christianity.He portrays his feeling by letting individuals stand in front of the work, perceiving them like a painting, which he has achieved in years. Viola creates an illusion with the primal humanity, bringing aura back into his actions, in which he never relied on. This aura leaves a transformation of biased and intimate dialogues. Later viola commenced a series of works designated The Reflecting pool, Moonblood, Silent Life, Ancient of Days and Vegetable Memory, which he compiled into an album that described the life journey by the artist. He engages motion to stillness, time to timelessness and from day to transitional night images in all his works.His entire career evoked different themes that viola would continue throughout to generate efficient artworks; the truly existing experience of art deceits beyond the words and above the symbols. The artwork develops by itself, constructing and manipulating on its own, until it reaches the state of saturation and the level of maturity. David lynch, uses the expression ‘dive within’, talking about the spirituality and aura in his video, ’Consciousness, Creativity and the brain’.

The spiritual framework of Buddhism engaged Viola with an issue of time relating it to Buddhist awareness and meditative practice, while space opens up into an idea of revelation. Viola confirms the audience with a wide and open space, space within creativity and unburdened chaos. Buddhists describe a certain experience of moments in time as ‘the mind of do not know’, which encourages a deeper processing of understanding art, an opening of awareness and the greater potential for deeper realizations when witnessing visual art.

Viola’s works exhibited a great originality in human disciplines that relates behind the camera, emerging to the soul religious thoughts. He consistently tends to convey a message of life, when an individual achieves the interior peace and satisfaction. The spectator of the film is persuaded to see the contemplation of love, hope, and desire in the works of viola, which envisions the indication of life.

Bill Viola’s The Reflecting Pool in 1977-79, is a color videotape artwork produced by Bill Viola Studio. This work is broadly anxious about the water and the camera angle of the film, which at no time moves. The video starts with a scene of a man who emerges from the woods, stopping at the edge of a pool and suddenly jumps into the pool, where the moment of time freezes. The man staring at the pool charmed viewers in abundance. The visual examination of the square pool and the man in the film depicts a caricaturist painting. Candice Breitz chronicles Bill Viola’s The Greeting, as the relationship between the photography and the painting prompts you to think and feel a collapse at the minimal border of it.The representation of the man is held still while the rest of the activity unfolds naturally.

The sound of the water and airplanes is heard continuously with the man floating in the air who does not fall into the water. In realism, most of the video, the man is suspended in the air. However, the pool remains disparate; it reacts as if the man has not fallen into the water and built a contrast tension between the ceased motion and the continuous motion. There is a dichotomy between the man and the nature of the real and unreal world. In hardly any time, a series of actions appear in water as a reflection, whereas on the other side of the pool nullity occurs. The suspended man disappears while the other people are reflected in the pool, yet they gradually vanish by time. There is movement of water and the original image reflection appears again. Towards the end of the video, the water turns midnight black, and a bright light circle appears right at the center of the pool. In some time, the water restores its originality, and the naked man who seems from the pool returns to the woods where he emerged from.

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The Reflecting pool seems to be a complete loop, where the man starts from the woods and ends it with the woods, yet the water pool acts dominant though. This particularly coincides with the analogy of life, explaining the incidents, reflection and belief that relates to the human mental attention. The attention required seeks time for the individuals to digest the existence of action, reflection and morality of unspoken language. This in turn coagulates with subtle images of transition to the audiences. We have to reclaim time by itself, wrenching it from “time is money”, maximum-efficiency mentality, and make room for it to flow the other way… towards us. We must take time back into ourselves, to let our consciousness breathe and our cluttered minds are still and silent. This is what art can do.From a spiritual perspective, if life is the divine endowment of the earth, then water is the curator of life. So Viola uses water to combine elements between the materialistic life and the spiritual world.

Bill Viola’s The Space between Teeth in 1976, is another videotape artwork, as similar as the dominant water space in reflecting pool but with the form of acoustic phenomena and psychological dynamics of an individual, screaming in a long dark corridor. It starts with the use of a running tap water, the man using the water and flinches back to sit in the chair. In a brief time period of silence, the man screeches and endures a reclined position. A repeated gesture of long scream occurs, which has intervals in between, as the camera is slowly moved to a point perspective on the way of corridor.

The voice is heard over and over, as an echo, caught in the middle of the foyer. The man still sitting in the chair can be viewed from a distance. The vision of hallway gets light consecutively placed in gaps between the black shadows caused by the side walls, grabbing eye contact, which looks like a teeth. This fascination traps the people’s emotions and makes it wonder if that is where the label arrived from.

The repercussion of the camera is that it zooms to the man’s mouth for every scream and zooms back out. The extent of the foyer makes the photographic equipment move forward to the start of the point where the shot of the kitchen existed.

It then gradually crawls to the bowl of cereal with a background of radio hitting the place of activity. At an indefinite time, there is a man who reaches the kitchen to wash the vessel but then leaves it back in the water filled sink. The video film again ends with water; an album picture, interpreting the memories of the man, which dies out by the helicopter wing spins induced in waves. Eventually, a Polaroid film is formed from the image of the man at the end of the long black corridor, which literally washes away. The effect of the film is spectral with elemental sound, and esoteric iconography, reaching out to myths and poetic stories. ‘This is where my art began’ says Viola and breaks the Blake prize for religious art and deeply influenced by western traditions. This particular film cites the human intentions towards the range of sustaining emotions with a high assurance in oneself. Bill Viola represents video art as an historical development through video sculptures, video installations, video projections and sound environments, reflective depiction of spiritual journey by the way of an electronic medium. The contemporary version of life, time and space establishes an artistic intention of visualization with each work of art and contains different ideologies. The prospect notion of video art began with the projection of high resolution screens and temporal manipulation of the individuals in citing the spiritual elements.

Viola, characterize a strong feeling of emotion through all his works with an essential connection of human attitudinal constitution. There is always a mandatory part of water and artistic images over the films, in which the audiences are drawn to relate something to their life. He allows the audience to glance both internal and external nuances of his works and has an unbreakable and authentic approach that the viewers can capture through all of his works. Viola uses water as a major element in his works, pertaining with the spirituality and aura that leads the audience to consider it as wisdom of life.

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