Exhibition Review: Beautification Machine

IMG_3217Andy Diaz Hope and Jon Bernson’s “Beautification Machine” at the Nevada Museum of Art is a completely immersive experience. They have taken live stream videos of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC and casted them through a fragmented prism of mirrors and glass.

This piece is centered in a dark room with bits and fragments of the live video strewn across the dark walls and bounced off of a slowly-spinning disco ball in the center of the prism mechanism. The viewers can sit or stand in the midst of the fragmented views of the videos, which can interrupt the projections and make it even more fragmented. This excess of fragmentation portrays the role that the viewers can play in the world of news and noise.

The piece made me question if what was being casted was actually news or was it all just noise no matter important it seemed. The spin and noise that these channels turn out was really amplified by the extreme fragmentation of the prism.

The prism itself was very statuesque and was reminiscent of an obelisk, like the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. I am not sure if this similarity was on purpose or not. This work was actually quite beautiful, but it was also very surreal. The fragments were constantly moving and the experience was mesmerizing, yet disorienting.

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