Paul Chan is an artist-activist with a well-trained digital eye. Though his work ranges from video projections of telephone-pole shadows to philosophically altered typefaces to HTML tales of prewar Baghdad, the Hong Kong-born American artist has made his most visible mark with digitized, hyper-colorful, animated films.
In his panoramic animations Chan culls from a rich array of sources, from outsider artist Henry Darger and surrealist poet and painter Henri Michaux to rapper Jadakiss and playwright Samuel Beckett. In Happiness (Finally) After 35,000 Years of Civilization, Chan computerizes Darger's hermaphroditic Vivian girls and morphs the late artist's soldiers into cell phone-carrying suits. The girls party in a dance hall of excess, but soon a woeful battle of wills perpetrated by the suits wreaks havoc on the Vivian idylls.
Video Data Bank: Paul Chan
Paul Chan - 53rd Venice Biennale (03:39)
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Waiting for Godot in New Orleans