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Published monthly by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization    

Artist Profile: Salt Lake
Another Language Upgrade
The Life and Art of Jimmy and Elizabeth Miklavcic
It's not easy describing Another Language Performing Arts Company. Never has been. When Jimmy and Elizabeth Miklavcic first formed the company in 1985, back when their performances took place on traditional wood-plank stages, they were already adding video, poetry and performance to their choreographed works. When they embraced the Internet's stage of cables and monitors to begin adding live streaming and telematic cinema to their repertoire, description became even more difficult. Which is why we took the opportunity, as the Miklavcics prepared for the 2.0 version of their telematic performance Duel*Ality, to let them tell their own story. Appropriate for the month of February, it's a love story. It's also a story about creative passion, technological exploration and what to do with all those ones and zeroes.

Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
Cris Baczek's Development
Three new bodies of work at Nox Contemporary

A myriad of wooden-framed boxes hangs on the walls, seemingly plain and dark. When you take a step toward a particular cluster, each box lights up individually, illuminating a bright blue negative image of wild flowers and plants. These creative pieces are the work of Utah Museum of Fine Arts administrator, Christine Baczek, and can be found at Salt Lake’s Nox Contemporary gallery. As an artist working outside the museum setting, Baczek remains tied to it, and through her work tries to negotiate these two sides of her art-centered life. The exhibition is called Development, suggesting her development as an artist, her development as a person, and of course, referring to her chosen medium. In this exhibit the artist not only develops her film, her cyanotypes, and her body of art, but also shows her own development and the process of creation and appropriation.

Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
Assuming Your 21st Century Role
New Frontier 12 at UMOCA
ONE of the things that was wrong at the Salt Lake Art Center, aside from its misleading name and the lack of clear mission it revealed, was the failure to capitalize on a unique physical layout. Oddly retro exhibition choices, dictating labyrinthine layouts of wall-mounted art in traditional formats, wasted the spectacular panoramic views over the gallery space offered by a mezzanine-like corridor that instead served to redundantly connect the museum-style galleries, theater, and infrastructure occupying the main floor. New Frontier 12, an extension of the state-of-video-art extravaganza that has become a significant part of the Sundance Film Festival, which will occupy most of the newly-rechristened Utah Museum of Contemporary Art until May 19, rectifies that omission even as it marks a literally spectacular debut for the museum’s new, welcome, and arguably first sense of purpose.

There is a risk in descending the familiar steel stairway, from the wide-open mix of installations lying just beyond the entry into the array of billboard-sized, dancing patterns of colored light below, among which furniture-sized devices, each with its own smaller display of visual jazz, beckon like arcade games. It’s neither the possibility that a devoted digital native could lose himself here for hours of carpal-tunnel-stressing fun, nor even that habitués of more traditional artistic fare—like the woman I overheard commenting that she’d never actually played a video game—might find reason to despair for the future of our venerable culture. The fact, welcome or otherwise, is that video has become one of the fastest-growing, characteristic technologies of our time, in variety of applications and numbers of consumers, of course, but also in the number and caliber of artists and artisans who are training to produce it. It’s not true that all the smartest young people become stockbrokers or investment bankers; a lot of them go into digital systems, including scientific and artistic breakthroughs that can be sampled here. No, the danger is that after even a short visit, the whole world may begin to feel like, and even come to resemble, an enormous video game.

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New Frontier 12 at UMOCA

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