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Jim Bizzocchi: Ambient Landscapes

Contemplate the majesty of nature across several screens in this evocative video work.

Drawn from travels along the coast of British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies, Jim Bizzocchi’s multimedia installation Ambient Landscapes combines photography, video, and computer technology to generate moving landscape imagery. Through the use of video layering and image manipulation, Bizzocchi carefully transforms these landscapes, allowing mountains, trees, rivers, snow, ice, and rock formations to emerge and dissolve in a state of constant evolution.

Through the combination of media and images, Bizzocchi’s work prompts a new kind of artform: ambient video. Unlike conventional television or cinema, ambient video rejects narrative. Instead, the artist chooses to focus on the minutiae of perception such as light, shadow, texture, and movement.

Computer software spontaneously generates the images you see on the screens, meaning that no two playthroughs are the same. Every visitor to Surrey Art Gallery will encounter the installation in a unique way. This software uses an algorithm to identify overlapping patterns across different images, allowing them to blend smoothly with each other. Another computer algorithm generates an accompanying soundtrack, which, combined with the tranquility of the images, elicits a relaxed viewing experience.

Through his work, Bizzocchi connects and contrasts the organic growth of our natural world with the consciously planned decisions of the human artist and the designed unpredictability of computational art, allowing visitors to experience the spontaneous wonder of nature within the calm of the Gallery.


Learn more about Jim Bizzocchi's practice and theories in the accompanying Jim Bizzocchi: Ambient Landscapes exhibition publication, released as part of the Surrey Art Gallery Presents series.



About the Artist

Jim Bizzocchi is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. His research interests include the emerging aesthetics of the digital video experience, the design of generative media art, and the design of interactive narrative. Bizzocchi is a practicing video artist, producing original video and generative video artworks that complement his scholarly writing.

Image credits: Jim Bizzocchi, Ambient Landscapes, video still from generative audiovisual work. Cinematography by Glen Crawford.