On the occasion of his first solo show, at Reena Spaulings Fine Arts in 2004, Seth Price made a piece called Digital Video Effect: “Spills.” He borrowed some video footage shot by Joan Jonas around 1971, featuring Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt and Jonas herself, talking with dealer Joe Hellman. Price subjected the archival material to an invented digital video effect that made the footage appear to alternately spill across the black video screen and then itself be entirely obscured by oozing blackness. Displayed on a new TV/DVD player still in its own cardboard packaging, the work was like an object you could trip over, or look down on. It is a piece about concealment and visibility, as well as the liquidity of both digital culture and historical material.
Ok, Just Send Me the Bill is a “fictionalized adaptation” taken from the audio of Price’s work. It was written in the same year, and laid it out so as to resemble an old book, with stills from the video as illustrations. Price altered the conversation, framing it within a kind of minimalist American style of fiction writing, together with oddball excurses and ‘glitches.’ Published here in its original format, the piece is a reflection on artworks and market and the passing of time that creates a temporal short-circuit, very much speaking to our moment, and questioning the role of the artist play.
- Seth Price
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