Exhibition Opening & Artist Talk by Matthew Ostrowski

Exhibition opening on Friday, December 13th with “Meet the Artist” event at CDA (refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, desserts from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. $25 suggested donation. Students $5. RSVP by December 7), followed by a talk with the artist from 7:30-8:30PM. The talk is free and open to the public.

This exhibition will also be open Saturday, December 14th from 10AM-6PM.

Matthew Ostrowski Opening

Guests view “The Unraveling,” new work by Matthew Ostrowski

Matthew Ostrowski is a contemporary digital artist working in multi-channel video/audio installation, electronic music and software development. Working primarily with the software Max/Jitter and his own handmade electronic controllers and motion sensors, Ostrowski has turned body movement into sound and words into visual projections. In his latest work, Ostrowski uses unique computer algorithms to “resynthesize” Hollywood films and deconstruct the traditional narrative trajectory to create a new order of visual and sonic information.


Ostrowski’s newest work is The Unraveling (below), a “reprocessing” of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948), the cinema landmark known for having been filmed in only ten extended takes. Using ten separate monitors, The Unraveling reinterprets each of the ten takes from Rope through the “slitscan” technique: a digital effect which smears the action of a scene across the horizontal axis of the monitor. Images twist together as successive fragments of the scene overlap each other in wave after wave. Thus Rope – a masterpiece of formal storytelling – is subjected to an ironic treatment as each scene unfolds in a fashion more suited to Picasso than Hitchcock.

The Unraveling

Among the other pieces featured is Scarlet(t) (below), a critique on sexual politics in cinema focusing on the 2003 film Girl With A Pearl Earring; starring Scarlett Johansson as a housemaid whose beauty inspires Vermeer to paint his eponymous master work. Ostrowski created a tracking algorithm to pull Johansson’s lips from each scene and rearrange this imagery in different forms that obscure the other elements of the film. The result is that the objectification of the female star is brought to the forefront and laid bare, rather than lying latent within a narrative that – arguably – is banking on Johansson’s sex appeal to attract its audience.

Matthew Ostrowski has developed custom software and installations for Laurie Anderson, Elizabeth Streb, Christopher Janney, Martha Rosler, Bill T. Jones, and the Flying Karamazov Brothers, among others. In addition to PS1, Roulette, and the Kitchen in New York, Ostrowski’s work has been exhibited all over the world, including the Wein Modern Festival in Vienna, the Krakow Audio Art Festival, Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, the Melbourne Festival, and Unyazi – the first ever festival of electronic music on the African continent.

Ostrowski received the NYFA Fellowship for Computer Arts in 2001, a Radio and Sound Art Fellowship from the Media Alliance in 2000, and was a nominee for the 2006 Alpert Award in the Arts. He has performed with the avant-noise band Krackhouse, and has appeared on over a dozen recordings.