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Essay by Mary Magsamen: Luke Savisky, E/x MN

Luke Savisky, E/x MN


Beaming, bending, and animating light, Luke Savisky transforms natural and architectural environments into magical experiences. In today’s rapid world of high-speed Internet, high-definition video, cell phones, and tweets, it is easy to forget to stop, look, and listen. Much of the landscape is taken for granted because people are busy keeping busy with their cubed virtual worlds constructed through data beamed off satellites. Savisky takes the accelerating technology and flips it around, so that audiences can see their lives with a slower, brighter light.

With the frequent advances in technology, many artists utilize more portable means of video projections onto architecture. Savisky, an established artist, approaches this medium with an expertise and a sensitivity to locations that make his work unique. His innovative and experimental film, video, performance, and site-specific installations express his creative and skilled finesse that leaves audiences awe-inspired and contemplative.

His previous projects, such as E/x, presented by Aurora Picture Show in Houston, Texas, at the Buffalo Bayou East End Silo Site, demonstrate the complexity of his work. E/x consisted of four videos of viewers’ images captured with live feeds from video cameras at the event; these were layered with old film footage and then projected in real time over four abandoned grain silos. E/x evoked themes of defense, confinement, emergence, and transformation as each silo depicted an individual person. It expressed the dualities of being comforted and constrained, in a group and as an individual. Audiences interacted with the work and each other as they saw their own portraits projected forty feet high while music from the Austin-based band Stars of the Lids played in the background. The band’s name appropriately refers to “your own personal cinema, located between your eye and eyelid.” The effect of the projections, live interactive performance, and music was a haunting stillness that breathed life into the decaying silos alongside the murky bayou landscape and Houston skyline.

For Northern Spark, Savisky continues to explore large-scale outdoor projection on architectural spaces with E/x MN. With multiple video projections layered and montaged over the silos of the Gold Medal flour mills in Minneapolis, Savisky will animate the structure with the help of attending participants. At the event, live-feed videos of people will be projected onto the massive silos, making these festival visitors appear to move through the huge silos and interact with each other, unfolding a broken and spontaneous narrative. The video projections will create a beautiful and immersive transformation of the silos that reinterprets a sense of place and space, leaving Northern Spark audiences with a new memory and experience.

 – Mary Magsamen, Curator, Aurora Picture Show