A video artist looks at commercials
POPULAR culture inspires and deflates me at the same time. I try to capture the energy of commercial techniques with a critique of the commercial message. I use the forms of mass media: books, magazines, and television. The narrator intones, ``Your life is like some ad man's dream,'' in the imaginary fashion commercial from which this picture is taken. This couple have attained the ultimate lifestyle - coordinated clothes, furnishings, table service - even the breakfast cereal matches. Their dotty environment is an exaggerated comment on the commercialization of our desires. On viewing the ad men's messages, we feel somehow inadequate that we don't have the latest products and the hippest attitudes.
Three visions have influenced this work. Painter and designer Sonia Delaunay's vision accepted everything as a suitable canvas; nothing was too ordinary for her to transform. Architect Michael Graves's approach to color suggested new color relationships for me. And fashion designer Calvin Klein showed that advertising could be impertinent.
This spot, ``Ad Man's Dream,'' is one of a suite of videos called ``The Dot Spots.'' They, in turn, are part of a larger collaboration of 10 artists called ``The Antenna Project,'' produced in 1984 by The Center for International Education and funded by the Northwest Area Foundation, both of St. Paul, Minn.