A Closer Look at CBC’s Video Art Collection: Crops, 2012

'Crops, 2012' by Gerco de Ruijter

‘Crops, 2012’ by Gerco de Ruijter

When Capitol Broadcasting renovated and redesigned our corporate headquarters and built a new addition last year, CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon envisioned creating a tribute to North Carolina artists for CBC employees and visitors to enjoy.  The halls of CBC’s Western Blvd location are now lined with original artwork including photography, textiles, paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces created by a variety of artists.  Since CBC’s divisions include two television stations, including video art in the collection only seems natural.

Currently CBC’s collection includes three video art pieces.  Goodmon’s eventual goal is to rotate the video art pieces and solicit submissions from employees, and he recently sent out the call for entries from CBC’ers.

Today we take a closer look at the second video art installed at the Western Blvd campus:  ‘Crops, 2012’ by Dutch artist Gerco de Ruijter.  The digital video loops runs 3m 27s.

About Crops
Clock-like in its imagery, CROPS echoes the temporal dimension that differentiates video art from other visual arts like painting or drawing. De Ruijter uses stopmotion film cuts to edit together agricultural changes through hundreds of aerial photographs of crop circles within the United States. Long water-sprinkler arms rotate around a central pivot to dictate time. The images flash so quickly that it is nearly impossible to discern one image from the next. The man-made crops appear otherworldly in their presented order as the irrigation arm begins counting down the remaining time before the crops become smaller, eventually fading into the black. In sync with the deep and penetrating musical score by Michael Banabila, the piece is ominous and captivating.

About the Artist
The Rotterdam based artist is well known for his formalist aerial photography, the camera’s vantage point made possible through the use of an exaggerated fishing pole or a kite, actuated by remote transmitter. The resulting photographs are both pure abstraction and a continuation of the Dutch landscape tradition. In his recent video work he turns to the collated imagery of Google Earth rather than his own image-making contraptions, but the earthy tones and geometric harmony of his aesthetic are consistent throughout his practice. The artist has said, “What is similar in my work and that of abstract geometrical painters is foremost that we do not dish up a story or a deeper meaning. The viewer sees nothing but the image itself.”

De Ruijter’s work is collected internationally, and he has been awarded numerous commissions for over a decade. He is a recipient of the Mondriaan Fund and is film CROPS was recently shown at the Smithsonian’s Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

Kelly McChesney, owner of the Flanders Gallery in downtown Raleigh, helped procure the pieces for CBC.  She currently serves on the CBC Art Committee along with Goodmon and several other CBC staff members.

‘Emerge’ is located outside the office of WRAL-TV Station Manager Jim Rothschild, on the first floor of the news building.

Learn More

Thanks to Kelly McChesney and Lile Stephens for contributions to this capcom story.

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