Presentation by Jamie O’Neil, MFA 2004 | Becoming Kurt Weibers: A Decade Of Art Through Virtual Identity
February 17, 2012 by: Dom
Presentation by Jamie O’Neil/Kurt Weibers, Video and performance artist
Friday, February 17th, 8:00 PM at 408 Franklin Street – (side entrance)
Friday Artist, Non-Members, $15 / Students $10; Members and Students, $12
Authors find their authentic voice through their characters. The mimetic representations of the world are conventionally thought to be expressive of the artist’s persona. But in 1968 Roland Barthes’ Death of the Author problematized this schema, beckoning in an era of post-structural thinking in art and psychology. The line has since blurred between author and emergent identity—the consequence unfortunately being manipulation and control through the hyper-real, media polarizations of “life style branding” and “corporate-identity”.
In 2002, artist Jamie O’Neil began speaking through a different voice; first to his video camera, then to real people. He entered into a “becoming” with his alter ego, Kurt Weibers. Rather than present “performances” to “audiences” he began offering subversive corporate-style seminars that served as a resistance to groupthink.
In a series of projects produced by the BI Norway School of Management, he lived and worked as his emerging identity for a period of weeks. In 2009, he entered into a dialog-across-time with Marshall McLuhan, leading to his most recent work that links 1960’s systems-theory with a physical movement and dance product he invented called Skippisox. In his most recent performance-lecture, Skipping Slides O’Neil/Weibers discusses how “skips” in time, space and identity are an integral part of our creative evolution. He has long been influenced by Jung’s theory of acausal connectivity: synchronicity, and the persistence of identity-over-time in the form of archetypes.
Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with an extraordinary local artist!
Jamie O’Neil, BFA, MFA,
Jamie O’Neil has performed, exhibited and screened his projects internationally, at juried festivals, exhibits and conferences including: The Rooftop Film Festival, Brooklyn, NY; Cine Lumiere, Institute Francis, London, UK; The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, Toronto, Canada; and The Business Institute (BI) Norway School of Management, Oslo, Norway. Both his written and video essays have been published and presented via The International Digital Media Arts Association, The Media Ecology Association and The American Educational Research Association (among others). In his collaborative projects with Canadian Choreographer Gerry Trentham, he has designed video scenic effects for performances and installations at Tangente and O’Vertigo in Montreal; Dancemakers and The Theatre Centre in Toronto; The New Dance Group in New York City and The Viaduct Theater in Chicago. His work has been funded by The New York State Council on the Arts and The Canada Council for the Arts and he has been granted numerous research fellowships and artistic residencies. He received his BFA in Theater Studies at Boston University, near his hometown; then worked at Weymouth Design Inc. beginning a successful decade-long career in commercial design and video production in Boston and New York City. His industry experience was deconstructed in graduate school, and influenced the development of his alter-ego Kurt Weibers during his MFA studies at SUNY Buffalo’s Visual, Media Studies and Emerging Practices programs. He resides in Buffalo, NY, where his work has been exhibited by The Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, and twice included in the regional biennale: Beyond/In Western NY organized by The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. He is Associate Professor and Director of The Digital Media Arts Program at Canisius College, and the Co-Director of The Video Institute, which produces media projects that serve as vehicles for social justice.