Virginia Beach Convention Center to Host Reception Unveiling Video Wall Featuring Contemporary Video Art

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

​The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new art acquisition for the Video Art Wall at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, to be held Friday, May 13. The unveiling will take place in the convention center’s pre-function area at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The video art wall is an expansive series of screens and projectors, 360 feet wide and 9 feet tall. The wall will showcase a new work by contemporary video artist Daniel Phillips, who was selected from an international pool of artists to create a video installation that addresses the identity of the convention center. The work will be available for viewing at the convention center from 8 to 10 p.m. nightly through May 31.

In November 2009, a call for proposals was distributed by Guest Curator Natalie Bray to facilitate the commission of one piece of video/digital artwork for display. It generated 57 local, national and international proposals. They were presented to a selection panel of citizens, representatives from the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission’s Public Art Committee, the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, art professionals, and city staff.

The work, Boilers, Chillers, Cooling Towers & Utilidors: The Hidden Infrastructure of the Virginia Beach Convention Center is the result of more than a year’s work by the artist and his team of photographers, Marina Pinsky and Carter Seddon. The video uses an extensive number of sequenced color digital photographs that are "stitched" together using post-production software, resulting in a stop-motion video that runs at roughly one frame every half-second. The use of silent, still images is essential to the content of the work as Phillips regards the interior architecture of the convention center as a stage set that contains the activity and intentions of its occupants and mechanical devices. The stopped motion images set up a series of tableaux vivant, a theatrical device that is characterized by the frozen forms of actors, whose positions serve to narrate a dramatic point.

The work parallels the frenetic movement of the convention center’s occupants by capturing and activating the hidden infrastructure with light and shadow. According to the artist’s statement he "felt most engaged . . . by rooms filled with machines and labor which provide the building’s electricity, air conditioning, heating and food. Referred to as the ‘back of the house’ by the building’s employees, these hidden spaces are filled with heat, smells and noises. [The spaces] are rich with forms and surfaces which show the physical history of constant labor." The sensory experience of these environments is visually translated through the artist’s camera movements, patient waiting for changes in light and physical engagement of the space.

For more information about the Virginia Beach Convention Center, visit The artist is represented by DODGEgallery. For more information about the artist, visit