Screening Time • Gerardo Tan

Apr 10 to Apr 29, 2013 • Tall Gallery

Gerardo Tan’s Screening Time, opening on Wednesday April 10 at the Tall Galleries of Finale Art File, features large multi-paneled paintings that were silkscreened with images of white noise. White noise is that fuzzy gray or striped pattern that comes out on screen when a TV network has signed off or a channel has not resumed programming yet. In sound engineering, telecommunications and broadcasting, this is technically referred to as a statistical model for signals or signal source rather than to any specific signal. This is accompanied by a hissing sound. It draws its name from white light. Metaphorically, white noise connotes “random talk without meaningful contents”, hence implying the white noise of the barrage of information and images we are now surrounded with, most often broadcast from our monitors or from our digital gadgets we’ve increasingly becoming dependent on, consequently influencing our view of the world, now mostly through screens and made-up of a thousand pixels that vividly simulate the world beyond interfaces.

By silkscreening the varying patterns of white noise and other produced distortions from broadcast failures, these paintings become stand-ins for the monitors and tablet screens, an analog interface that transacts through the language of representation, and its corresponding system of perceptive and associative meaning, as it also connotes the idea of “after hours” when these patterns or signals are played after a channel has shut down or has signed off.

In a way, these paintings can also be seen as grounds for machine-generated abstractions as it references both the patterns produced by these technical glitches and the patterning reminiscent of Gerhard Richter’s Static Silicate series, mostly done in monochromatic shades of gray, black and white and proffers a blurring between the world of representation and the matterhood and imagehood of painting, the proximity of relationships between illusion or simulated reality to the reality of the painting.

Implicit in the exhibit title is the punning that refers both to the process used in painting and the broadcast schedule of movies or TV programs, or rather the time spent being in front of a monitor which dozes one into a hypnotic trance. The time spent for such seem eternal as one is drawn to this passive gazing, frozen in the complicity of willful submission.

In contrast, viewing painting absorbs one into a zone of utopic transcendence, outside and within its plastic realm where in the tiny dots and pixel grains, what was deemed as real is pulverized “ in order to destroy the finite associations with which our society increasingly enshrouds every aspect of our environment.” (Rothko)