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Video Sundays: A Springtime Screening of Cherry Blossoms in Times Square

Recommended viewing: Shigeko Kubota’s “Rock Video: Cherry Blossom,” screened among billboards and logos in a bustling Times Square.
For the 40th anniversary of the nonprofit arts organization Electronic Arts Intermix, a leading resource and archive of digital and video art, special screenings were programmed throughout one week in April of 2011. Though these programs included works by artists like Nam June Paik and Gary Hill, the standout title of these is Shigeko Kubota's Rock Video: Cherry Blossom (1986), which glows in a warm pink with flashes of sky blue and gold. Following a 1-minute introduction by Takeshi Murata, the screen splits into a grid of squares, each refracting a different dimension of a blossom tree. Kubota's digitized floral arrangement renders nature as synthetic and contingent as the logos on a flashing billboard that act as the film's frame. When seen from the perspective of a passerby, everything appears to blur into a single advertisement.

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