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Artist Oliver Herring discusses what he perceives as generational shifts in our relationship to the camera, mortality, and legacy, accompanied by scenes from his five-channel video installation Little Dances of Misfortunes (2001)—created after 9/11—which depicts amateur dancers illuminated by phosphorescent body paint.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Oliver Herring.
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Oliver Herring’s early works were woven sculptures and performance pieces in which he knitted Mylar, a transparent and reflective material, into human figures, clothing, and furniture. Since 1998, Herring has created stop-motion videos and participatory performances with “off the street” strangers. He makes sets for his videos and performances with minimal means and materials, recycling elements from one artwork to the next. Open-ended and impromptu, Herring’s videos have a dreamlike stream-of-consciousness quality; each progresses towards a finale that is unexpected or unpredictable. Embracing chance and chance encounters, his videos and performances liberate participants to explore aspects of their personalities through art in a way that would otherwise probably be impossible.