Borna Sammak's video paintings are meant for high-def televisions; the work mixes original processed footage and heavily treated rips from HD films--Planet Earth being a frequent source--all layered into a quick barrage of color and abstraction. So what better place to show it than on every available TV in our country's largest HDTV supplier?
When you think of Best Buy, openness to experimental art is not the first quality that comes to mind. But Thomas McDonnel, who produced the show, says that all the branch's manager needed to hear was "foot traffic" (the installation took place during regular store hours). After that, a nod from HQ was acquired with surprising ease--Sammak didn't even have to pre-screen his videos for anyone.
So while it's not quite the guerilla takeover you may have expected, still a nice change of pace from the typical manufacturer show reels on these sets normally. The rapid-fire, saturated colors actually seemed to serve as pretty decent test footage for some direct comparison shopping. You listening Best Buy? Turn all of your stores into galleries.
This placement was by far my favorite:
From what I was able to see in the clip above, the "art" just looks like a whole bunch of corrupt video files. Granted, the segments appeared to be very vivid/bright and made the TV's look great. This just makes me want to ask, who at Popsci got a new LED TV for giving Best Buy the free marketing?
I think it's fair to say that editing a few HD video clips and then playing them on an HDTV (HD video on an HDTV?! Never!) isn't the least be revolutionary or even remarkable, definitely not worth the space it takes up on Popsci's homepage.
Not a bad marketing gimmick, though.
Best Buy = Worst Deal
Sad but true!
"Learn to Live & Live to Learn"
Alexander von Humboldt
I think Big Buy's idea is just fine except that they chose the wrong subject matter. If I want to buy a monitor or TV, the way I would evaluate it would be to check both still and moving images of things I was already familiar with-- human faces, primarily. If I see a picture of Obama, George Clooney, Marilyn Monroe or my next door neighbor on the monitor, I know what they're supposed to look like-- but if I'm looking at Monroe's blond hair on the screen and there are noticeable greenish tints in the shadows, I know there's a problem with the way the screen renders subtle shades. Also, if a colorful item with sharp edges is moving, you are more likely to see if the colors smear in disturbing ways. Both still and moving images must be used.
You can't do a proper evaluation with broad swatches of neon colors as we saw in the video-- there is no way to know whether the images are being reproduced faithfully, especially since we don't know what the original images are supposed to look like.
Often, printer companies use bright, exciting pictures of macaws, orchids or other vivid subjects for test prints, but that's deceptive. It's skin tones and hair that are most likely to reveal printers or monitors that aren't up to the task.
I like Best Buy's idea, but they need to let customers put images and video clips on the screen that are most recognizable and the most difficult to reproduce well.
This is innovative marketing at its best! Borna Sammak pulled off a unique trick to promote his art. And what can be a greater salute to the high-definition image quality of the DISH Network TV sets? The faith of the artist, that these HDTV sets can do justice to the color quality and vibrancy of his work, is proof enough. Do DISH Network customers and also the potential ones need more testimony to believe that they are really with the best? This is a trend-setting move from Borna and don't be surprised if you find more artists taking their art to DISH Network for promotion and marketing.
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