Photo credits (left): Kristin Lucas, Porter Butts Gallery of the Wisconsin Union Galleries, University of Wisconson, Madison; Photo credit (right): Luke Urbain, delivery service
Video Check Out, 2010
Video Check Out is an interactive artwork that features a video tape lending library, a free local delivery service, and a public submission-based online image gallery. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to browse cement and concrete copies of video tapes and check them out for private contemplative viewing. During an undefined loan period, participating members of the video shop are invited to record and share images and videos of their tapes in situations through the online gallery. Video tapes are returned through the video shop drop box, restocked onto shelves by shop attendants, and recirculated within the collection for multiple viewings. A local delivery service is provided over one week in January. Requests for delivery can be made at the gallery or through the project's website. Interaction with the artwork contributes to its destruction and the collection ages like an architectural ruin. Video Check Out pays homage to the vhs tape, an obsolete recording format popularized by the video rental shop - an establishment that is itself disappearing from the American commercial landscape as new methods of distribution enabled by the web have paved the way for an online entertainment industry.A post-interview write up about the show, "Building big ideas, one VHS tape at a time" can be read on ArtShout: The Wisconsin Union Directorate Artblog.