Artist: Simon Denny
Venue: Michael Lett, Auckland
Exhibition Title: Corporate Video Decisions
Date: August 25 – October 1, 2011
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Michael Lett, Auckland
“Once senior management found out that they had a powerful tool to make themselves look good to employees, customers, and the public, video was wrenched out of the muck and mire of nickel-and-dime budgeting, dusted off and given a pin-stripe suit and button-down shirt to wear.” (Judith and Douglass Brush-Corporate Video Decisions -September 1988 p34)
“Video will increase from 30% of Internet traffic to 90% of Internet traffic by 2013” (Cisco, 2010)
“Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors” (Comescore, 2010)
“A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words” (Dr. James McQuivey, Forrester, 2009)
“59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text” (Forbes Insight, 2010)
Michael Lett is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Simon Denny titled ‘Corporate Video Decisions’. The exhibition revolves around two complex examples of video ephemera presented alongside each other as a lavish snapshot of recession-era commercial video culture.
Corporate Video Decisions was a trade magazine for corporate video departments who helped reform and nurture consumer confidence in the post economic crash of the 1980’s. Denny presents printed video stills of fifteen selected covers from the magazine’s three year run. Each cover appears in the center of a contemporary flat screen television, the exact dimensions of which are echoed by the double canvas stretchers.
Corporate Video Decisions aimed to “provide video executives with the ammunition they needed to justify their existence in a lean marketplace”. The issues featured in the diverse cover artwork show how corporate video played a key role in rebuilding investor confidence, and the key issues this medium faced in its time of importance. When confidence was down the profile of key players within companies, as well as the public image of many companies, was boosted by bold video presentations circulated on VHS.
Alongside the double stretched canvases Denny presents the entire content of the website currently live for ‘Diligent Boardbooks’ a corporate-services company whose clients include many Fortune 500 listed companies. The artist expands the website into a room-filling glut of A4 print outs of the written material and monitors displaying the embedded video content. Denny’s ‘expanded website’ transforms the way the company’s information is organised online into a more affronting and monumental format.
Diligent Boardbooks has its base in the unlikely city pair of Christchurch, New Zealand and New York City but takes pride in presenting a global list of contact numbers and support services. The website advertises DB as the world’s number one provider of paperless software.
These two snapshots of video technology from two differing eras of global economic hardship propose a sculptural-documentary framework for understanding the material possibilities of commercial time-based media. Necessarily tied to sales and exploitative by design, commercial video can serve as a picture of powerful cultural forces in mid swing. A mixture of professional messages, amateur video aesthetics, and bottom line capital messages, this affirmative collage is placed somewhere in the paradox between contrived corporate-presentation and epistemological desperation.