Rollin Leonard’s Body “Wave” in 4K Ultra HD Is Hypnotic

March 7, 2014 | Marina Galperina

The art fairs are upon us! Follow ANIMAL as we stumble strategically through most of most of them. Next up, The Moving Image Contemporary Video Art Fair, a favorite. That gyrating form above is a low-res gif version of Rollin Leonard’s new video installation. Now imagine looking down at it in 4K Ultra High-definition.

To create the moving image, Leonard built this coffin-style set-up with perfectly even lighting, free of shadow — the only distortion of the body can be depicted as a wave.

From Transfer Gallery’s press release:

Wave is a new work (inspired by the artist’s attempts to teach himself to float in water) depicts the body under the constraints of a strictly limited system… As in much of his work, the artist uses bodies as a way of ascribing agency to less-human objects and ideas.

Seems like Leonard perfected the technique of capturing/illuminating/floating/isolating human forms that he has been obsessed with for so long — a methodical digital manipulation of the human form that, if you stare into long enough and tune in, can make you feel like your atoms are actually tingling pixels and you’re sliding apart and sliding back together in measures pieces and moving planes.

And, of course, the shuffle. As in his Moving Image Contemporary Video Art Fair work from London — 360º / 18 Lilia (2013), now acquired by the 53 Art Museum in Guangzhou — the artist also offers versions of Wave remixed with sleekly-dissected, math-based, independently-moving plates.

“The shuffling method is a perfect shuffle or a faro shuffle,” Leonard explains. “Cut a deck of cards and interlace each card. With a ‘deck’ of 36 slices it takes only 12 shuffles to return to original arrangement. Here instead of moving parts of the body, I moved the timelines.” Here are a few of his 12 remixes of Wave in gif preview form.


The work in 4K HD video, is available at the fair on a custom SSD drive as well as the HD shuffles as a separate piece. Rollin Leonard and Lorna Mills at Transfer Gallery, Mar 6 – Mar 9, Moving Image Contemporary Video Art Fair, Manhattan.