Burchfield’s ‘Front Yard’ exhibit delayed one month


Photos courtesy of Burchfield Penney Art Center

The Burchfield Penney Art Center will now debut its new exhibit on Oct. 18, one month after the originally planned date.

The Burchfield Penney Art Center will start projecting original video art on the front of the building at sunset on Oct. 18, one month after “The Front Yard” was originally scheduled to open.

Designed by Brian Milbrand, technical assistant within the communication department at Buffalo State, the innovative installment suffered setbacks in construction that have delayed its debut.

Milbrand said that the main reason the date was set back to October was because the original process planned for the construction of the steel paneling on the towers that will hold the projection equipment was not going to work.

“We needed to send the steel paneling out of town to be cut with a laser cutter,” Milbrand said.

The use of three simultaneous projections is nothing new to Milbrand, who has worked with three frames on past projects.

“Making multi-channel art is different than single channel editing,” Milbrand said. “You have to think about how the frames are interacting, and can do visual cutting that’s a bit more like mixing audio, where you can have harmony or dissonance, create counterpoints between the videos.”

Milbrand went on to say that even though there are three separate projections, they are close enough together that they can portray a singular image across the entire projection area.

Both the audio and video portions of the exhibit will play continuously, but will be changing in accordance with time of day and weather conditions.

The artists providing content for the projections will be able to choose the conditions that they want their pieces to play under.

New videos will be added every month.

In Milbrand’s “Manic/depression,” with Holly Johnson and Ron Emke, edited in collaboration with Kaitlyn Wardour and Nadra Dennis, the videos play based on weather.

“If it’s a cold day, depression will play,” Milbrand said. “But if it switches from hot to cold drastically, manic/depression will play.”

Milbrand explained that in “Full Moon,” a collection of werewolf transformations from film will only play during a full moon at midnight.

Set to play at sunset, “Afterglow” will only display audio during the day, and both audio and video at night.

“The piece starts with instrumental drones whose pitches are controlled by the current weather values of light color, wind speed and temperature,” Milbrand said.

The debut of the projections, which will consist of three simultaneous frames, will show works that have some relation to the theme ‘cycles.’

Meg Knowles, a professor in the communications department at Buffalo State, will be showing a piece entitled “Monday is Washday.”

“My piece is based upon a traditional song that goes ‘Monday, Monday, Monday is wash day, everybody happy? Well I should say,’” Knowles said. “Tuesday is ironing day and so on. So there’s a task for each day of the week.”

The song then repeats itself in cumulative verses that take you through the tasks of every day in a week. Knowles said that her piece is really about women working.

“Because everything is three projections side by side, you’re going to see the lyrics of the traditional song in the center and you’ll see a circa 1900 woman doing these tasks,” Knowles said. “And on the other side you’ll see a modern woman doing the task.”

Knowles worked in collaboration with Chris Gallant, a Buffalo State graduate and professor at Hilbert College.

Andrew Manzella can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @andrewmanzella

A screenshot from one of Milbrand's videos.
A screenshot from one of Milbrand’s videos.