Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Robert Zverina's Autobioanthropolography

Get yourself to the McLeod Residence and check out Robert Zverina's show "memory (w)hole." Trust me: it is fascinating, and you'll want to go back again to see more. What is so compelling?

Autobioanthropology is a word made up by Robert Z: autobiography + anthropology.

Robert Zverina's been creating mini-films with a digital pocket camera since Feb 2003. He's compiled the best of the short clips into 24 hours of video documentary of ordinary life. Clips range from 4 seconds to 30 seconds, the equipment's maximum recording time. The word autobioanthropolograhy is apt.

The video compilation is mesmerizing: you don't know how long each clip lasts and you have no idea what the next subject will be. A cat? A street scene? Making a purchase? Riding a train?
The briefness of each segment, punctuated with a 5-second empty interval between each, leaves you wanting just a little bit more -- yet also happily anticipating the next segment. Channel surfing ordinary life, if you will.

I watched about 20 minutes of the compilation at the show's opening last Friday. I plan to return to see more, and I'll likely also buy the DVD ($30) and play it on the TV when guests are over.

The second installation by Robert Zverina at the McLeod is 572 Pictures of the Day, which wallpapers the front gallery room. These are prints of online photo/text postings, from pre-blog time to present. He's been blogging before there was such a thing as blogging. No fancy blog s/w for this fella. Every page is hand-coded. (Hard core geek.)

The artist's statement on the memory (w)hole show:
In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, history is constantly rewritten, with the old versions being tossed into the "memory hole"--an incinerator. memory (w)hole is a play on words that implies we inhabit a space between total recall and utter amnesia. This exhibit presents the largest compilation of Robert Zverina Short Films to date, with more than 24 hours of non-repeating microdocumentaries cycling chronologically in a comfortable cinema setting. In an adjacent gallery, 572 Picture of the Day web page printouts line the walls from floor to ceiling to form an "exploded book," a grand gesture in the futile struggle against forgetting.

Just for reading this far, I'll throw in a few fun facts about Robert Z:

  • He's a low-fi DJ: he plays 45s on a portable turntable

  • He's getting married in August in the country. Back country. He and the wife are having a block party/reception in the Fremont neighborhood to celebrate nups the following week.
Memory w(hole) runs at the McLeod Residence through the end of September.

Here's the dude himself taking a picture of me taking his picture. Hmmm. Maybe I'll be in something.

artist & dj Robert Zverina

1 comment:

Jeanine Anderson said...

Robert's computer rebelled at the Captcha requirement to post a comment here so he sent it via email for posting. thnx RZ!
Hi Jeanine,
Thanks for the good word, great pictures, and for getting
everything right. It's a small space between the latter and
forgetting everything right.

FYI, there will be a premiere screening and DVD release
party for "Subjective Best of Robert Zverina Short Films
vol. 1" at McLeod Residence on Friday, September 19 2008,

And I gotcha back here: