Paul Wong is a man who needs almost no introduction. The ‘weird uncle’ of digital media, Wong has been doing what he’s been doing since he got his start in the seventies, making raw, unfiltered video works about sex, death, and racial identity often through striking but oft-missed moments in everyday life. He’s been heralded as a national treasure, crowned with the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and shown his challenging, campy, and convention-defying videos in venues as exciting and disparate as hidden woodland cabins and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (the former of which he’d lug a generator out to in order to power debaucherous screenings for likeminded friends).
A sprawling, computer-warmed haven secreted away above an old-world flower shop, Wong’s Mount Pleasant studio is an institution in the venerable sense — one that has played host to countless eminent Vancouverites, and which Wong has been working out of since the year I was born. It’s crammed with stuff, and yet immaculately organized: videos loop endlessly on meticulous arrangements of screens, and the potential chaos of cables and wires that often accompanies media artists in a Pigpen-esque cloud is sequestered neatly away into tubs and buckets. In the interior chamber where we conduct our interview, the only sign of the man at work is a clutch of glowing LED wire, which Wong has been using to mock up his new neon hashtags.
Wong is at ease but deliberate when he speaks, often pausing for thought before listing off notes of importance in a staccato rhythm that reflects the flicker of GIF work installed around him. To better view his latest piece, an installation of 40 video screens called Looking, Looping and Listening that is being exhibited at Winsor Gallery beginning this Saturday, the room is kept dim. The only illumination comes from the rolling videos, a window whose curtain has been raked back to let in the last of the day’s snowy-blue light, and a singular neon signature — Paul — that graces the back wall.
VIA: Tell me about your recent infatuation with the GIF format. …READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY>>>