I had gone away to spend some time out of the city. We booked a house near the sea because it seemed like a relaxing spot. The goal was to disconnect for a while, spend less time looking at screens all day. I took some creative supplies with me, markers and pencils and such, with the vague idea of, should inspiration strike, being creative in an analog way. And, of course, making photos. But I had no grand plan. I didn’t intend to develop a new project. So this is definitely a case of the work finding me instead of me finding it.

The drawings, poems, and photos I made essentially describe my experience that week. I’m literally talking about hanging out by the beach for a few days, trying to recover from a stressful time. On the surface, it’s not so profound. But it’s the mundanity that makes it relatable. I used that simplicity to tap into the subconscious.

After I got back home and realized I had created all this stuff, I wondered what I might do with it. I put together the video art and designed an experience meant to be seen in person, projected in a dark room with surround sound. I even set up a small screen prototype. The work created exactly the immersive and meditative environment I was going for. But given the pandemic, trying to plan an in-person exhibition didn’t feel right. So I began to consider what I could do digitally.

Three monitors showing the seaside magic video art by luke kurtis are the only source of light in the room.
small screen seaside magic video installation prototype

I’ve always been more comfortable in cyberspace, so it’s sort of odd I never did a digital exhibition before. But the pandemic has changed the ways we connect. Besides, I’ve always been somewhat reclusive and find it challenging to communicate with people in person, making digital spaces more effective. So, I hope other people are more open to this way of connecting than they might have been in the past.

It would be easy to think of an online exhibition as an inferior substitute for something else. But I don’t feel that way about this at all. In fact, I’m excited that I can beam this work into your home, no matter where you are in the world.

Please join me and explore seaside magic from your corner of cyberspace. I hope you will approach it with intention and feel the same sense of calm that I felt while making it.

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