Eye-stalk (n.) Zool. a movable stalk carrying the eye, esp. in crabs, shrimp, etc. 

Recent advances in technology allow us to see more than ever before. We use cameras and scopes to see farther, closer, larger, smaller, brighter, dimmer, faster, and slower objects and subjects than ever before. Casually, and sometimes surreptitiously, we breach divides of both physical and societal construction. We cross insurmountable barriers of time and our own lack of attention with the aid of graceful editing. The ease of passage distorts our sense of space, scale, class and order. 

It would appear, then, that we have grown our eye as an organ of sight. Our eyestalk carries us past the known self to the self and selves we find in unexpected places. The ability raises questions: Does the extension of sight imply the extension of understanding? Does it imply the extension of ownership or control or culpability? 

Eve Sussman, Chris Doyle, Eric Saks and Shannon Kennedy explore the limits of video, camera, and surveillance technology, and the glories of editing, taking our eye into unexplored territories, and exploring self-imposed limitations on the ways in which we see. 

Shannon Kennedy uses the camera to raise the specter of the ever-present animal occupation of the buildings in which we work and live. At Smack Mellon, she presents a macro-view of the insect life that may or may not inhabit the once-reassuring walls that surround the viewer. Her unsettling distortion of the scale, prominence and distinction of insects jars the viewer's sensibility, and unsettles our sense of safety, cleanliness and order. Kennedy uses scale and unexpected empathy to present us with a nightmare as an object of reflection. 

Eve Sussman used a vintage film camera to infiltrate and survey the quiet interiors of the Times Square Marriott Marquis as seen from the glass elevators that ply the many floors looming above the lobby. In her twenty foot tall tower of four, linked 16mm projectors, Sussman has constructed what are in effect three parallel and inter-related sculptures: one of light, one of cameras and one of images. The constructions underscore the ways in which light and time are observable as waves. The reel of film cascades through the projectors creating a totem of images on the screen. Each time the image is re-presented it is re-contextualized and retemporalized. It is jet lag made visible. 

Eric Saks presents "Suny-prototype.001," two female gender anime eyes as a convincing anthropomorphic animation. The eyes appear to see the viewer, and inspire a disconcerting level of fear. The piece inverts Saks' earlier works in which the viewer was allowed to eavesdrop on cell-phone conversations, and, instead, reverses the positions of observer and observed. Ultimately the oculus set of Suny-prototype.001 will be attachable to a STIM A1 avatar, as hackers transpose the piece to the web, spreading the illusion beyond the gallery.

Chris Doyle harnesses the macro lenses intended for scientific research, stop-action animation, and the Oscar Meyer wiener. He conflates the painterly tradition of abstraction with the video tradition of the artist's narrative. As the hot dogs grow from their actual size to up to twenty-four feet over two synchronized screens, they transform from the recognizable to the horrifying, and from the humble to the monumental. The viewer is caught between the cultural associations of the objects, and the place and the way in which they are now seen. The twin screen projection allows the viewer to shift instantaneously between two views of the action, sliding as effortlessly as the meat between illusionary and actual space. In the smooth, graceful and often hilariously grotesque presentation, the labor-intensive process of thousands of movements is too easily forgotten. 

These artists, then, confront and surpass the biological and historical limitations of sight. They also confront the hypocrisies created by our own self-imposed limitations.

For further information on Shannon Kennedy please see: 
http://www.creativecapital.org/artists/visual/kennedy_shannon/kennedy_shannon.html DEE/GLASOE , 545 West 20 St., New York, NY; (212) 924-7545; deeglasoe@aol.com 

For further information on Chris Doyle please see: 
http://www.creative-capital.org/artists/visual/doyle_chris/doyle_chris.html
http://www.creative-capital.org/artists/visual/doyle_chris/umich/index.html 

For further information on Eve Sussman please contact: 
Bronwyn Keenen Gallery, 3 Crosby St., New York, NY; (212) 431-5083 

For further information on Eric Saks please see: 
http://creative-capital.org/artists/media/saks_erik/saks_eric.html