Michael Lasater had a very busy 2013 for his art. Lasater is professor of mass communications and chair of New Media at IU South Bend.
This past year “was one of the busiest years in exhibition I’ve had, and different from anything previous. “I had a lot of work shown in Europe – even in India – via two curators, one in Los Angeles and the other in Cologne, Germany. The highlight, of course, was my solo show in Kansas City.”
Lasater’s show was at Charno Gallery of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. He received two “very positive reviews – one in the Kansas City Star – (that) really tops it off.”
In “The Pitch,” an alternative Kansas City weekly newspaper, the writer said Lasaters’s “single-channel high definition videos appeal to different senses. Though each composition uses an individual audio track, the cumulative effect is mesmerizing. Standing in front of one screen at a time allows you to temporarily isolate a solo voice, but what emerges is an atmospheric choral soundscape.”
Lasater said the Kansas City show was a traditional show in a traditional gallery. “But I also put it up with all my commentary on its own Vimeo channel. I did the same with the SBMA (South Bend Museum of Art) show. I think of art video as a plural medium – considering the many artists and movements associated with it, and the many ways in which video can technically be expressed – and I try to stay as plural – as flexible as I can.”
The Kansas City Artists Coaltion building is a century-old rehab warehouse with lots of wood and exposed brick. “It reminds me of spaces all over New York City. Putting nine flat HD screens in those rooms was a bit like mounting a microwave in a pie safe – a lot of fun.”
To open up 2014, Lasater and two other new media faculty members Eric Souther and Sean Hottois are currently exhibiting new work at Regional Impact: works from IU Regional Campus Art Faculties at IU East, Richmond. The exhibit runs through March 7.
For the rest of this year, Lasater said he has done a lot of work in single channel video deriving from painting and photography. He was first a concert musician and a filmmaker. “I am probably circling back to where I came from” on a piece that points in the direction of a poetic narrative.
The new work could go in several directions. “I don’t know yet, but I strongly sense that it will be different from what I’ve done so far. Otherwise, I’ll continue to pursue as many exhibition opportunities as I can and see where it all leads.”