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TOM HANSELL : April | 1 – 18 | 2011

Tom Hansell is a documentary filmmaker and installation artist who lives and works in the Appalachian Mountains. Hansell teaches Appalachian Studies and Documentary Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. His documentary films are produced by Appalshop, a media arts center located in the heart of the Appalachian coalfields. Hansell’s documentary work has been broadcast nationally on public television and has screened at international film festivals. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His present documentary project, screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010 and was recently selected by the Southern Arts Association for the Southern Circuit tour of independent filmmakers. “

Tom Hansell. Container Space ©2011

The Sunbuggy is an all terrain solar powered video display.  The video displayed is titled Juice, a silent short edited from archival footage about electricity production.

Materials: Solar panel, galvanized steel, plastic wheels, battery, voltage inverter, electrical wiring, automotive lighting, LCD video monitor.

Dimensions: 36” high by 38” wide by 36” deep

Presentation of the Sunbuggy and lecture in part with the Electricity Fairy at George Mason University and the Week in Washington to stop mountaintop removal.

as part of  :: LIMINAL

{Artist Statement}

Music has been a part of human culture even before language has, and that is why people of all different cultures have this one particular form of communication/ artistic expression in common.  My work is about documenting the visual, audible, and social celebration of sound.  When certain rhythms and melodies are passed through a system of amplifiers and mixers something incredible happens on an audible level.  When the amplifier gets louder you begin to feel the music, and many people are experiencing the music with you.

This piece is a system of t-shirt dye filled speakers hooked up to a mixer board and a few electronic and conventional instruments.  With these instruments I create rhythms and melodies that trigger the dye-filled speakers to pump.  The dye is then projected onto the canvas above in very specific patterns and velocities which are determined by the pitch and volume of the musical note.  Since the music is being performed live in an improvisational setting, every painting produced is unique and will never be recreated.  Photographs have been used to capture a single moment in a musical performance, and a video can capture a sequence of images that are synced with the audio, but this speaker system is designed to show the viewer what the entire song looks like as a whole, in one single image.

⎯ Louis Reichbauer



“Here they have been from their childhood…and can only see before them”

My work is quiet. It requires a lot from the viewer—some time spent, some investment of attention to the details, to the subtle changes in tone or texture. This leads to more sensitivity so people begin to notice a changing in the light or the motion that occurs in the air if someone new comes in the space.

Beyond this shift in quality of attention, there are images and ideas embedded in the work to think about. Some of the images relate to ideas of randomness, of accident, of what some might call fate. Some of the images or referencing marks lead to ideas of what makes meaning, what makes something alive, and how many variations can exist. In the end, they all comment in some way on the nature of materials and our experience. The pieces challenge whomever encounters them to see differently—to see both the macro and the micro at the same time.

A brief audio sample of Kendall Nordin discussing installation and concept during the artist reception:

kendal nordin 1

Photos from the opening:


Kelly Debutts // April  ’10

Video documentation still

Debutts is a junior enrolled in the BFA program at the George Mason University. Her untitled sculpture is comprised of found wood & audio featuring the sound of her constructing the piece.