Mass Ornament

single-channel video installation, surround sound

2009

Mass Ornament

Exhibition view When we share more than ever, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Mass Ornament captures ‘our’ neoliberal condition in which ‘we’ are all allegedly individuals and in which the private […] seems to have triumphed over the public or social. Through a brilliant reworking of Siegfried Kracaur’s reading of 1920s chorus lines as reflecting the logic of Fordism, Bookchin’s rows of Youtube.com videos reveal private actions as forms of repetition. Focused on actions shot in the home, Mass ornament is not simply a negative critique – hey, we’re all the same – but also a hopeful revelation of an unconscious community or what Jaimie Baron has called “found collectivity” which we can trace through the mass archive.
—Wendy Chun in Updating to Remain the Same, 2016

Mass Ornament

With a keen eye for detail, a terrific sense of timing and a killer instinct for editing, [Bookchin] has clipped and combined hundreds of vignettes from YouTube and set them to the soundtracks from two 1935 films, Busby Berkeley’s “Gold Diggers” and Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will.” Bookchin’s deft selection of highlights is awesome, a powerful instance of making something great from the stuff at one’s fingertips in the Digital Age. To watch the split-screen extravaganza is to feel as if you are at once enjoying a god’s-eye view of a vast, everyday parade of vulnerable human beings and also an intimate part of a democratic drama that is deeply moving.
Los Angeles Times

Mass Ornament

Natalie Bookchin’s new video installation, Mass Ornament, choreographs hundreds of YouTube dance videos to create an dazzling artwork that also questions contemporary isolation and connection via screens, cameras and technology.
KCET —Blur and Sharpen

Mass Ornament

Centre for Contemporary Culture Florence (CCCS), Florence, Italy

https://vimeo.com/5403546

Mass Ornament Documentation (7:12)

Mass Ornament

International Biennial of Media Art, Melbourne, Australia