If glass and video have anything in common, it might be that both struggle to be fully embraced by the world of fine art – the former pegged all-too-frequently as craft, the latter straining to break free of its roots as a commercial medium. Joining these two mediums together in singular works of art, artist Tim Tate is getting attention. Months after being included in an article about encasement in bell jars in the pages of GLASS Quarterly magazine (#114, Spring 2009, p. 15), Tate’s unique melding of art and technology has also caught the eye of National Public Radio, which has featured the mixed media artist in its radio program and Internet blogs.
Tate designs ornamental reliquaries – bulb-shaped glass cases, each containing a tiny video screen. The screen shows a loop of a self-directed video clip – a girl walking down the sidewalk, or a woman’s face submerged in water – shot to match the theme of its vessel. Remarkably, Tate spent a year working with scientists to develop the specialized optical displays used in his work. This week, for its technology news series “All Tech Considered” (a spin-off the All Things Considered program), NPR gives the mixed media artist a closer look in a video profile. You can read more about Tate’s high-tech artwork at the program’s blog.