Richard Jochum: New Playground

The New Media Artspace is pleased to present Richard Jochum: The New Playground. Richard Jochum: The New Playground will open on September 6 to December 1, 2017 at the New Media Artspace gallery in Baruch's Library and Information Building, 151 E. 25th Street.There will be a casual discussion with the artist for Baruch students on Thursday, October 4th, 2017 from 1:30 to 3:30 P.M. in the New Media Artspace and room 415 of the Library and Information Building.

The New Media Artspace will host an artist lecture and closing reception on Monday, November 6th, 2017 at 6 to 8 P.M. in Engelman Recital Hall, BPAC and is free and open to the public.

Richard Jochum: The New Playground is curated by Zhenzhen Qi, Assistant Adjunct Professor, in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College. The exhibition is made possible by support from the Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC) and the Newman Library.

Curatorial Statement

This exhibition highlights selected works from the artist, and utilizes digital media as a playground. Humorous yet profound, Richard Jochum’s work creates a temporary space and time. It enables audiences to leave behind immediate reality, and to observe, play, shape, and be shaped by a new opening in return. At a time that seems to be increasingly fragmented, Jochum’s work invites us to come together and play. “I think art continually has to create new images for he time we live in. For the conditions and issues we deal with: existentially, politically, physically, and globally. Searching such images is what I am aiming for. My artistic work is often based on participation or embedded in local communities. I believe in an intriguing encounter between art producers and the public. Audiences can make us learn better and see things we would not have known yet. I understand both intelligence and creativity to be profoundly social."

For The New Playground exhibition hosted at the New Media Artspace at Baruch College, the artist will exhibit a suite of four works completed between 2001 and 2017:

Halt (2001) shows an artist climb a tree, sit on a branch, and pick up a saw in order to saw himself off the branch he sits on. He falls and lands on the same bough. The video is accompanied by sounds: birds twittering, sawing noises, and branch cracking. Snow II (2008) shows how the artist is rolling a ball of snow until he gets exhausted. The ball is growing and continues to grow after help arrives. But there is a limit to it; soon the group of helpers is bigger than the ball, thus making progress impossible.

Twenty Angry Dogs (2010) is a video and sound installation in which 12 performers bark like angry dogs. The selection comprises a group of people that is diverse in terms of age, race, gender, or profession. 12 screens are arranged in a circle, each playing an individual video. Viewers are encouraged to walk into the center of the circle to watch the looped videos. The site-specific piece has been installed using different set-ups and equipment. An additional separate video shows the group of performers barking together in “Group-Bark”. The installation reflects the relationship between humans and animals, and the raw emotional power that we all carry in us.

Catch (2017)alludes to the childhood game of two people tossing cell phones between each other. The videos recorded by each of the two phones during the playful game are shown next to each other as a projection. Referring to a pervasive selfie culture, the recordings capture the players and their environment in topsy-turvy slow motion.

Artist Bio

Richard Jochum is a conceptual artist working in a broad variety of media with a strong focus onvideo, interactive installation, performance, and photography. He is a studio member at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and an associate professor of art and art education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has worked in various media since the late 1990s and has had more than 140 international exhibitions and screenings. Richard received his PhD from the University of Vienna (1997) and an MFA in sculpture and media art from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (2001). Richard’s art practice is accompanied by publications and research in the field of cultural theory, new media, and contemporary art and he has been awarded several grants and prizes. One of his latest projects in New York has been an interactive crossword installation with 27 video monitors, a web-interface, and crowd-sourced questions at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP in June 2017.