Why Tasman Richardson Rules By Scott McGovern
Tasman Richardson is a master of video. Not just of making videos, but of video overall. I’ve never met anyone else with a more holistic understanding of the medium – of how it works technically but, more importantly, how it works psychologically.
Tasman takes a swan dive into the screen, plunging deep into the medium to dredge for hidden treasures, while others merely float their ideas on the surface. Tasman teaches the grammar of video; a complex topic for unilingual students already fluent in the primary language of the world. His work reveals universal truths to guide us through the murky electronic swamp, truths we intuitively know so well that they are hard to comprehend.
With extreme precision, Tasman expertly controls pixels and sounds that already exist. Signals and glitches converse while mantric sounds combine with vision to create something beyond the two stimuli, but it happens too fast to consciously decipher. The eye can perceive about 150 frames a second but 30 is plenty for Tasman to demonstrate the inherent power, and danger, of video. Adhering to conventions and ethics is absurd when using a medium stunted by unethical conventions.
Usually video is used as a mirror to reflect illusions we try to position ourselves within. Tasman’s work is sandpaper scuffing the back of that mirror, scratching off the coatings to make the glass clear once again. His work is a respectful collaboration with technology, only manipulating it enough to allow its own voice to be heard equally.
Many artists look inward but Tasman looks outward with curiosity, dedication, and uncompromising vision. He is certainly amongst the most innovative media artists in Canada and, perhaps, in the world. I value every minute I have spent with Tasman, and every frame of his work. When I introduce him or his videos to someone, really I’m giving them a gift.
Scott McGovern is the Program Director of Ed Video Media Arts Centre and the Visual and Media Art Curator for Kazoo! Fest.
Kazoo! Fest and Ed Video present two live AV performances by Tasman Richardson, ‘Darkness is to space as silence is to sound’ and ‘A Line Has Two Sides’ at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St.) on Friday April 12th at 8pm.