ABOUT MICHEL MOYSE
Michel Moyse is an artist, teacher and co-founder/director of the Center for Digital Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources and promoting art in Brattleboro, Vermont. Michel’s artistic career spans nearly 5 decades and includes works on paper, glass, plastic, film, single and multi-channel projections he calls ‘motionpaintings’.
This site is specifically dedicated to recent artwork and ‘motionpaintings’. To see older artwork (paintings circa 1970s, 1980s, oils on glass & acrylic), experimental films, and collaborative work, visit michelmoyseart.com. (to go directly to older ‘paintings’, click here)
To see the works “in motion”, go to Motionpaintings (Gallery Simulations), Motionpainting Portraits, Major Motionpaintings, Erotic Geometries, Domestic Loops, (i.e. other pages) or any of the sub-categories.
‘Motionpainting’ is a word I use to describe much of the work I’ve been doing over the last two decades: by it I simply mean artwork that incorporates duration yet remains rooted in ‘stillness’. Because current technological limitations customarily impose the necessity of viewing these works either as projections in a darkened room or on flat screens, it’s easy to orient viewing expectations associated with film or animation. In spite of the fact that these works are time based, they are not narrative in content or form. As in traditional painting, they have no beginning or end and are meant for continuous viewing. The new province of this art may in fact be duration without development – or, put another way, aspects of ‘now’ in duration.
For a more in-depth exposition of my personal approach to ‘motionpainting’, please click on the following links: Michel Moyse Discusses His Art #1, Michel Moyse Discusses His Art #2, Michel Moyse Discusses His Art #3, Michel Moyse Discusses His Art #4.
As of this writing, there are two main options for exhibition: Traditional projection or ultra short-throw projection and TV monitor. Although each option has pros and cons, any choice entails a specific context that orients the viewer in habitual expectations. Large screen projection requires a darkened room and suggests a “film” experience with attendant narrative development (“narrative” elements may be present in my work, but there’s usually no “development” in duration). A large TV monitor, on the other hand, can be seen in broad daylight, and this suggests a viewing experience analogous to that of seeing paintings in a museum or gallery. But existing TVs or monitors come with predetermined aspect ratios, and that’s a limitation that creates lots of problems for me because my work often disregards traditional formats. Alternately, the ultra short-throw projection option offers a compromise solution because the projected image can be seen more or less in broad daylight and frame size is determined by the original file’s aspect ratio. As of this writing, this option is my preferred choice (another possibility is the LED Screen – but I don’t entertain it because this is a very expensive option).
These works are meant for large screen projection (suggested 16 ft. diagonal or more) or ultra short-throw projection and continuous viewing (i.e., looped). Unless otherwise noted, audio should be played at a low level (as ambient sound).
A note about aspect ratios: many of my motionpaintings are non-traditional in aspect ratio. This means they’re best exhibited using a projection screen sourced by a computer or seen on an Ultra Short-Throw projector. Viewing any motionpainting that is not 16X9 on an HD monitor (or 4X3 if original is SD) will distort the image or add unwanted borders.
No doubt future technological developments will allow displays that can be seen in larger formats and broad daylight with better color veracity. For a rough simulation of what this might look like, click on Gallery Simulations.
For exhibition and maximum resolution please obtain original digital file from the artist
That a work of art occupies multiple spaces is of course not new, and history abounds with examples: The Medieval diptych and triptych; Egyptian hieroglyphs; and more recently, Cubism, to name just a few. But that the process itself becomes objectified and codified into new modes of artistic expression is, I think, a recent development. The causes for this can be traced at least partially to our perception of reality enhanced through a variety of sensory manipulations – television, radio, video, computer, etc. This obviously creates an environment which is multi-layered; an environment which redefines in fundamental ways what we mean by ‘reality’ and which – and this is the important point – consequently calls for a reinterpretation of what is specifically relevant to us and therefore worthy of exploration and expression. This then forcibly entails concomitant shifts in modes of perception – that is to say, in consciousness. And that this coincides with the dissolution of the (largely Western) Cartesian dichotomy of object/subject – of conscious and subconscious; of self and other – need not surprise us. Boundaries are in constant flux; reinterpreted and redefined; both on the personal level as well as the sociopolitical level. Process takes precedence over product; form over content. What this points to is, in fact, a new understanding of artistic expression. The two concepts of ‘integrity’ and ‘unity’, for example, so critical in defining art of the past – in defining a spatially and temporally homogeneous sensibility (balance, harmony, etc.) – are now modified to include disparate and random sensibilities; to include, for example, the ‘incongruous’ as well as the ‘congruous’, the ‘disharmonious’ as well as the ‘harmonious’, the ‘irrelevant’ as well as the ‘relevant’, the ‘incoherent’ as well as the ‘coherent’. And this, I believe, is the specific purview of the ‘contemporary’ artist.
For a very personal look at what art means to me, please click on Five Essays on Art & Painting.