About the Artist
“A la salida”, “Carne”, “Celebremos” and an approximation to Video Jockeying defined by computer generated animations, samplings of 8 bit video-games, and odd sculptured objects hybridizing virtual reality forms and bits of plastic, highlight the interplay of technology and cybernetics within conceptual art.
By moments a critical observer of Oscar Nodal's work, feels illustrated by the influence of concept art, technological discourses and cybernetic narratives. As technology is shown to have a major influence on Nodal's work, the evidence of it's role debates between the historical, the social and the aesthetic: it seems to establish a correlation between video art and new media art.
Allow me to better explain that, Nodal flirts with ideas of exploring perfection in his work and at the same times looks at how emotion can be contained within the apparently purely mechanical output of video... he's not making movies, he's making video (no, not videos, just video).
It's a fine line to walk. One runs the risk of not offering any real aesthetic opinion, video like “Carne” and “A la salida” somehow left me wondering and uncertain as to whether perfection is what he ultimately aspires to or what he detests. They're at the same time adorned with plenty of ornamental Sunday-movie-cliches that get un-made only by the roughness with which they where processed, on set and the editing room.
In “Celebremos” I found myself longing for some darker resonance to appear, the existence of such a subtext will remain open to debate, yet the video is at its most interesting when it escapes the connotations of the community drama group acting on a stage set, and plays with the codes of reality TV. This, -intentionally, I suspect- is a video representation of Avantgardism's now cliched conundrum: can the materials and meanings of mass culture genuinely be turned against the forces and interests that have produced them?... that's F'n deep in a very shallow way, in one word: interesting.
Nodal's work by moments examines video purely as an electronic technology of signal processing and transmission that shares these properties with other electronic media, notably television. But most of all, portrays video as a medium in its own right by articulating specific media language in a step-by-step construction of a videographic-aesthetic vocabulary, at times, successfully establishing an emergent semiotic system by which video becomes a medium that can be truly distinguished from alternative media.
MSocSc. Emiliano Villarreal.
Ph.D. Research Associate UTEP.