April 24, 2019 | 63° F

Rutgers, TCNJ Art Students showcase conceptual, time-based art at NOFLASH program

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Art, like any creative medium, manifests itself in many ways. Some forms of art are familiar to most, like sculpture or painting. Conceptual art like time-based artwork is less popular, especially as a newer method of artistic intent. Joanna Phillips, the Guggenheim’s conservator of Time-Based Media, briefly described what time-based art is in 2014. 

“Among the descriptors identifying a traditional artwork are its dimensions, measured as height by length by depth. With many contemporary artworks, these physical dimensions are variable. Time-based media is a term that we use to summarize those artworks that have duration as a dimension,” she said.

Time-based art made its way onto campus last night, with art from TCNJ and Rutgers students being showcased at a special event. The program was held in collaboration with NOFLASH and the School of Arts and Sciences Artists Collective.

NOFLASH is a social and professional platform focused on emerging time-based artists, ranging from undergraduate students to working artists. The Artists Collective is the division of the Schools of Arts and Sciences Honors Program that focuses on bringing together a community of students interested in all mediums of art through monthly events and workshops.

Charles de Agustin, a Mason Gross School of the Arts sophomore and co-founder of NOFLASH, billed the program as an introductory educational event and spoke about the importance of the work the group is doing on campus.

“This was our warmup, more of our educational outreach event. Being able to be active creatives, but at the same time, doing something that’s giving back to our community in a really vibrant and open way is not only good for the community but also feeds back into our own practices,” de Augustin said.

Ruby Ryan, a Mason Gross School of the Arts sophomore and co-founder of NOFLASH, stressed inclusivity in the arts. 

“One of our biggest priorities aside from giving people in our position a platform for sharing their work is giving them a space for socializing, meeting each other, collaborating. That’s the next step. Once people come through the door on the seventh, they’ll meet each other, and they’re learning more through that interaction,” Red said.  

The group is hosting a larger event at the Zimmerli Art Museum on April 7, with more art from a wider range of artists. Work from students as well as from around the globe will be showcased. Last night, there was a 20-minute screening displaying work from eight student artists. The work on display ranged from narrative-based content to more experimental work. 

After the presentation there was a panel discussion and Q&A session with the artists, and the conversation was mainly devoted to the creative process and the approach to making films and time-based art. The artists discussed how their tastes evolved over time, how they formulated ideas, developing as artists and more. One of the more engaging points in the conversation was when the group shifted to the harsh reality of being an artist, and how it’s not always the greatest fiscal decision. 

Anna Robinson, a Mason Gross School of the Arts sophomore, had a film which focused on archival footage of herself, and her pursuit of an acting career. She spoke about working with videos of herself that dated back to 2011. 

“It was incredibly awkward and a bit painful, but I think that’s why I wanted to do it. I have all of the material, and I’m in this really reflective time in my life where I want to learn from my past mistakes and failures. I cringed a lot, but I think I’ve become a better filmmaker and actor,” Robinson said.

The event was an engaging look at the budding talents in and around Rutgers, and a compelling precursor to Saturday night’s event. Alex Arbeitel, president of the Artists Collective and School of Arts and Sciences senior, reflected on the evening of art and conversation and expressed enthusiasm for what’s to come.

“I was already extremely excited for Saturday, because I love supporting student artists. This is such a great event, because we all get to personally connect with some of the student artists who will be exhibiting on Saturday,” Arbeitel said.

Jordan Levy

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