Video Pistoletto by Oil Sorenson is inspired by the works of Arte Povera artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, who aimed to realign art with the preoccupations of everyday life. Sorenson revisited Pistoletto’s mirror-breaking performance by replacing his mirrors with video screens. When hitting screens with a chisel and hammer, liquid crystals splash out of their individual cells while staying partially sensitive to the video signal, and generate organic compositions within the glass fragments trapped atop the light boxes, which stay fully operational behind the debris. Thus via the destruction of massively produced commodities, Sorenson makes one-of-a-kind works that can never be recreated, due to the unpredictable nature of the glass-breaking process.
Sorenson’s broken TVs are rendered into concrete objects since viewers can no longer look through them as windows to far-away worlds. They must now look at the immediate material properties of second hand and refurbished screens that dropped in value with age or because of minor factory defaults. Ironically, Arte Povera’s mission to select poor materials is fully achieved when choosing electronic goods, since these are doomed to depreciate by simply following Moore’s law. Embedding failed technology into art objects, Video Pistoletto reverses the prescribed flows of planned obsolescence, when the broken screens become more valuable by morphing into collectible performance artefacts.
Oli Sorenson, Video Pistoletto, Performance / Video Installation, 2015–Ongoing.
Video Pistoletto (final composition of screens 01 and 03). DokFest, Kassel, Nov. 2017.
Born in Los Angeles, Oli Sorenson has lived and worked in London (UK) between 1999 and 2010, to combine his artistic activities with curatorial work (including several events at Tate Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the British Film Institute). Sorenson has often exhibited internationally, including at the Millennium Museum (Beijing), the Media Art Institute (Amsterdam), ZKM (Karlsruhe) and DokFest (Kassel). He performs regularly in media festivals such as ISEA (Helsinki and Nagoya), Mapping Festival (Geneva) and MAF (Bangkok).
He is now based in Montreal, Canada since 2010.
More on: olisorenson.com