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moderndallas.net
Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer

Shane Mecklenburger
in “Glitch”
a group show of Video Art at CentralTrak
curated by John Pomara and Dean Terry

Shane and I met through a mutual artist/friend in not exactly a “serene” setting at the
show’s opening and again two weeks later at Centraltrak to hear two of the contributing
artists discuss their art to an engrossed audience surrounded by theoretically mesmerizing
art on the walls. The versatility of the artistic technological feats possible on a computer
and the reference to “a computer glitch” in the show’s title all of a sudden popped
wide open.
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“Glitchenstein’s Monster” 2011
Shane received a BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an MS from the University
of Southern California and an MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Since the fall of
2009 he’s served as Assistant Professor of New Media Art at the University of North Texas and as
Adjunct Faculty in the Art & Technology Studies Department of the Art Institute. He was
chosen to be in the first juried Border Art Biennial at the El Paso Museum in collaboration with
a museum in Juarez to examine underrepresented artists along the US/Mexican border.

The unending sources and crossovers of art mediums begins with Marcel Duchamp’s
dubbed readymade, a sculptural urinal he called “Fountain” dated 1917, moves to
Jeff Koon’s encasing washing machines in plastic cases in the mid-80s to 2011 and
Shane creating (see below) a diamond out of gunpowder. All in their own way these
artists challenge many assumptions and pretentions about authenticity, originality
and other value-loaded criteria.
“De-Weaponized Time Signature,” 2008-09
Shane’s “De-Weaponized Time Signature” began with a mass of layers of acrylic paint,
it took four years until it weighed 50 pounds and measured 13 inches in diameter. Later
with an antique sword it required the artist’s full body weight to divide into two halves.
The 30-minute documentation on video is now exhibited as Performance Art.   

With funds from the UNT Research Initiation Grant and working with an asst. chemistry
professor, Shane  is exploring “what people value by producing a series of synthetic
diamonds from carbon sources that have no market value...seeing a diamond made
from something we don’t associate a high market value points out the way we value
things. The project is asking: ‘What is this worth?’”

Shane makes and writes about art and teaches in the new New Media Art, a
multidisciplinary department to “examine valuation, conflict and identity in popular
culture and art.” Participatory Art is a multi-faceted art form in which the audience
is an integral part and even becomes the creator; Video Art is one of those forms. New
Media is viewed as in ongoing dialogue with traditional art practices such as
Performance, Installation and Sculpture. Advanced Video Art requires in-depth
sophisticated knowledge of the technical aspects – the tools, techniques and
concepts behind the complicated field of digital imaging including but not limited
to sound production, animation and web art.   
“Gunpowder Diamond,” 2011
A “glitch” is a new website video game (in a video game a glitch is a programming error)
as well as a term for a failure of a computer system to perform properly; the less serious side
of an all-age game appears appropriate too as the artists investigate individually digital
error in “Glitch” with the concentrated use of video, stills, sound and found objects.

Former Assistant Curator at the Meadows Museum Kate Sherrin with a master’s degree in
art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts since January 2010 is the energetic
and enthusiastic director of CentralTrak.