Gabrielle Jennings. Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art. 2015.

During my Fulbright, I’m catching up on potential readings for my class Art and Electronic Media. I’m especially enjoying the book Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art by another UCSD alumni Gabrielle Jennings. As Owen and I continue our game experiments, clever ways of incorporating abstraction feel important and refreshing, not only for the sake of processing speeds but also as respite from our image/word saturated social media landscape. Having had countless students approach me about making detail-rich concept art, now is an ideal time to renew debates about abstraction and representation.

An excerpt from Jenning’s book (, as she describes her work at UCSD’s University Art Gallery:

The first was an exhibition by New York School poet and artist Joe Brainard. Through this exhibition, I was introduced to the poet John Ashbery. Even then, I had a fascination with the empty spaces in his writing, with the ways he used typography and allusion for powerful ends. Looking back, my interest in and use of blankness both in my studio work and in my master’s thesis, “Stillness and Simultaneity,” was influenced by Ashbery’s work. Later I would work closely with the painter and writer Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, whose writing appears in this volume and whose work has also been a profound influence on my thinking about art. In his 1997 article Blankness as a Signifier, he wrote, “Where [blankness] once marked the absence of the sign by being a sign for absence, it is now the sign of an invisible and ubiquitous technological presence.”2 This volume teases out this presence: an indefinable, murky space, foggy and immaterial like a Turner painting; an abstraction that appears in the moment of a frame and then disappears only to be replaced by another.

Gabrielle Jennings teaches at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.

Gabrielle Jennings. Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art (Kindle Location 227). University of California Press. Kindle Edition.