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John Knuth and Andy Featherston's White Snake!
Apr 1 - Jun 30, 2016
The LA>< ART Public Art Initiatives/Digital Billboard Platform
Every hour starting at 54 minutes.
LAXART is pleased to present White Snake! a video by frequent collaborating artists John Knuth and Andy Featherston. At the onset of the video we are confronted with a dramatic close-up view of the eyes and tongue of an albino California king snake. In just under three minutes, the video draws the scale shift from full-frame red eye to a thin, distant white snake uncoiling and floating in negative space – in daytime the plane of the billboard, at night the space of the sky. The video is a study of motion in montage and manipulated beauty. Building up layers of simultaneous affect, the video is at once beautiful and startling, calming and jarring. White Snake! plays with the aesthetics of the attention-grabbing imagery of the media that saturates The Sunset Strip. Knuth and Featherston are interested in the albino California king snake as a subject in part because these snakes are specially bread for aesthetics. They are native to the Southern California basin and are valued for their morph variations – prized to breeders and collectors. Boasting colors that do not exist in nature, the animals are selectively bred to highlight and accentuate their recessive genes. Precisely because of their specialized color variations, these animals would have no chance of survival in their native habitat. They are living aesthetic objects that cannot exist without the providence of man.