Context + Marker Installation Views

This is the wall text accompanying my exhibition at Daemen College

The result of a year-long investigation of the landscape in western New York State, my exhibition Context + Marker openend on October 6th, 2012 at Daemen College. It was the inaugural show in the College’s new, $5.4 million Visual and Performing Arts Center, located in the heart of the campus. I was honored by the opportunity to open such a wonderful space, and to have received a residency there.

You can see the set of installation views on Flickr here.

Posted in Art

100 Birds

100 Birds is a meditation on the nature of birds. While investigating the landscape of the area around Buffalo, NY, I began to wonder about how birds can be detached from that ground.

You can see the entire set here

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Cell Tagging: Raleigh

Cell Tagging: Raleigh is a mobile, augmented reality (AR) artwork that allows the viewer/user to draw on her/his mobile device, and then see that drawing through an AR browser in the physical location where it was drawn. Other users can also see the image. In this way, you can “tag” the space around you.

Requires iPhone 3G or later, iPad 2 with 3G/4G or higher.

Requires Layar AR Browser, downloadable here.

Click here to launch project (Opens in new window).

Posted in Art

Video/Still series

The Video/Still (2011) series employs high-definition videos that look like still images. Recent technology has blurred the distinction between the equipment used to capture video and still imagery, and the best digital SLRs are also among the best HD video cameras. This series considers the shifting relationship we have with digital imagery, and looks at our perception of time in its multiple modes: photographic time, video time, the time of day, and even geologic time. While everything looks completely still, like a landscape painting of yesteryear, in fact everything moves, each within its own time.

Video/Still: Mohawk Pool from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Video/Still: Letchworth Woods from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Video/Still: Genesee River from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Video/Still: Great Salt Lake from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Video/Still: Double Arch from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

The Landscape

The Landscape (2009) investigates how we choose to depict the world around us by using Creative Commons-licensed images tagged as ‘landscape’ from Flickr. The images are super-imposed on one another, very slowly shifting from one composite to the next. In some ways, all landscapes are the same – sky, horizon, and ground. We, as the viewers, create the landscape as we look at it.

The Landscape from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.


For the Excerpts series (2009-2011), I consciously made appealing landscape pictures. Then, like any good photographer, I cropped them to create the best, most dynamic image I could. But I am more interested in what has been cropped out than I am in what was left in.  We expect to see the mountains, the sunsets, the falls; we can picture them in our minds. This series is about absence, the ‘plucking out’ of the prime elements of the original image

The Library

A library is more than a collection of books: it is a space that suspends time and most stimuli. In this relative void is contemplation, ennui, and distraction. The moving images in The Library (2007) were captured by a cell phone in the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and play randomly.

Click here to launch project (opens in new window)

Project requires Flash


Up/Down (2005) is a series of diptychs based on the confluenece of latitude and longitude minutes in Boston, which form a nice rectangle around downtown. Precise points were determined by a handheld GPS receiver. The top image is of the sky above that point; the bottom is a rubbing of the ground. What are these arbitrary points marked on the globe? How do we interface with them?

Environment is Text-Rich: Framingham

Environment is Text-Rich: Framingham (2006) was a live video installation at the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Massachusetts. Projected onto one wall of the gallery space was a live video image of downtown Framingham, showing people in their cars and walking as they went about their everyday lives. However, the image was not static – the camera moved up and down in an awkward dance.

Upon first watching the archived video, the motion seems to be random. If one looks closer, patterns emerge. The robotic camera is panning and tilting to spell out letters; those letters form words; those words tell of a little known part of Framingham history.

Click here to go to the original site (opens in new window)

Every Environment is Text-Rich: Framingham from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Cell Tagging

The cell phone, seemingly ubiquitous in our culture, has become increasingly powerful – first phone, then PDA, then browser, now camera, etc. In the case of Cell Tagging (2006), the phone became a remote control that allowed the user to dial, speak, and draw. The mobile phone occupies a space that is both connecting and distancing. The normal interfaces of the gallery and the computer were removed, replaced by another technology that is familiar, but not as a drawing tool or art artifact. By calling a number, viewers were asked to dial in a zip code/city code that means something to them. The aerial map of that place popped up on the screen. They were then be asked to speak into the phone and say why that place is meaningful. Using the keypad as a kind of pencil, users drew in a continuous line that moved depending on the number key pressed; for example, the number 2 drew upwards. I was interested in making the viewers aware of the control that cell phones give them by requiring their use to enact the piece. I feel that cell phones redraw space and our relationship to it. As opposed to the land-line phone, which exists in one place, the cell exists every place we are. Cells are disruptive to those around, as the cell-speaker ignores where s/he is, and is transported into his/her conversation. The cell-speaker makes every place his/her own, graffiting the sound-space of an area. With Cell Tagging, I attempted to literalize that act of marking.

Click here to go to the original site (opens in new window).

Project requires Flash.

Every Environment is Text-Rich #4

Every Environment is Text-Rich #4 (2003) is an interactive, web-based artwork that takes images from around the World and presents them in one frame. Viewers determine which images they would like to see layered on top of one another, but can only do so by their verbal description. They have no way of knowing what the images will look like, as the sources are live webcams, dependent on weather conditions and the time of day. Some cams change their positions, so even a selection of the same sources in quick succession may not lead to a similar combined image. The work allows the viewer to see the whole world at once, live.

Click here to go to the original site (opens in new window).

Project requires Flash.


An early experiment in cell phone photography, Screenshots (2004) pushes the limit of the legibility of the image. Shot through a window screen, the low-resoluton images depict the Boston street outside the restaurant where these images were taken.


Command-Control (2002) combined my interest in both webcams and our notions of labor. Determining the exchange value of actions done – none of which has a product beyond the video of the action – brings into question how we engage in ‘work’ in a scopophilic society. The video below is from a performance during the 2002 College Art Associaton Conference.

Command-Control from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Every Environment is Text-Rich #2

Rather than literally write on to an environment (as in EEITR1), I decided to use the motion of the camera as the vehicle for ecriture for Every Environment is Text-Rich #2 (2000); in other words, using a hand-held video camera as a kind of pen, I ‘wrote’ the words ‘Every Envirmenment is Text-Rich’ over scenes in New York City.

Every Environment is Text Rich #2 from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Every Environment is Text-Rich #1

Every Environment is Text-Rich #1 (1999) represents an early investigation into the relationship between landscape and text. Using the then-new technology of Apple’s qtrv photo stitcher with a specialized tripod head, I attempted to play with how we ‘read’ our environment.

One Day in New York, Shortly After the Attacks

Shortly after the fall of the World Trade Center towers, I travelled to New York, and was overwhelmed by the number of American flags I saw – they were everywhere. Whenever I tried to get work done (invariably on a computer), it was difficult for me to move beyond the tragedy of that day. One Day in New York, Shortly After the Attacks (2001) forces the viewer to close the multitude of windows to get back to work.

Click here to go to the original site (opens in lots of new windows, turn off your pop-up blocker)

Posted in Art

My America

My America (2001) is a short video (completed before 9/11) that plays on what I percieve to be the reliance on symbols over substance in defining ‘America’. The piece was created at the height of the Napster trial, and asks how the concept of ‘the land of the free’ can be trademarked. All of the images come from Corbis, and the soundtrack is Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA’.

My America from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.


For Desktop, (2001) I streamed live video of the desktop of machine at work. At the time, personal webcams were just beginning to become popular; my idea that it was more important to see what I am working on, rather than my face.

Click here to go to the original site (opens in new window).

Desktop from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Road Apple Test

Road Apple Test (1999) was created in collaboration with Owen F. Smith and our students. Borrowing heavily from Ruscha, Blackwell, and Mason’s Royal Road Test, in which they documented the effects of throwing a typerwriter out of a window, RAT employs somewhat newer (but now obslete) technology – a Mac SE.

Project requires Flash

Click here to go to the original site (opens in new window)

Drop from Roadside View from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Drop from Truck View from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Carcass Survey from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.

Cataloguing End from Brooke A. Knight on Vimeo.