Indiana Daily Student

Fuller Project welcomes 'Plants,' a sculptural video collaboration

Student artist Francisco Magdaleno wants his work to change the aesthetic of today’s beauty-based society.

“In culture right now, there’s a lot of things that are beautiful, that people would agree are beautiful, like Christina Aguilera or something,” Magdaleno said. “There’s a lot of things people don’t pay attention to, very simple things like whatever random plant is on the walk home that is equally as beautiful, but, it’s like, MTV isn’t showing that so much.”

Magdaleno collaborated with fellow artists Ana Meza and Jonathan Galimore on a project with that idea in mind. The three shared their conceptual piece, titled “Plants,” at the Fuller Projects on Friday night.

The pieces displayed included a large structure of about 13 television sets of varying sizes playing footage shot by Magdaleno and edited by Galimore. Three smaller television-set sculptures shared the room with the big one.

Meza said she was the one who arranged the television sets and brought together some of the group’s ideas.

“They do a lot of video stuff, and I’m more of a sculptural person in the group, so I kind of, like, got all of our ideas together, made them more unified,” Meza said.

The process of inspiration, Meza said, was ongoing. Throughout the project, certain arrangements of televisions looked better with a specific video playing in them.

“Throughout getting the TVs, also, ideas flourished,” she said. “The tiny TVs were good, they work really well with that video too.”

What was onscreen ranged from the natural to the unnatural. One set showed only footage of grass blowing in the wind, another showed neon orange flowers over a separate scene of ?petals falling from the sky.

In an adjoining room, an extended video of plants with an accompanying audio track played. Guests could sit or stand and watch the footage, which Meza said was a collage of both original and borrowed audio and video.

Magdaleno said he does not find the same level of agreement among his peers when he acknowledges the beauty of plants versus ?people.

“Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong people, but when I say, ‘Nice plant,’ people will be like, ‘Oh yeah, sure.’ But I’m hanging out with a guy friend and I say, ‘Oh, that’s a pretty girl,’ they’ll say ‘Oh definitely,’” ?Magdaleno said. “That’s beauty that’s very accessible.”

Accessibility, Magdaleno said, comes from many places one would not expect.

“This wall can be very beautiful, I think,” Magdaleno said. “Things that you don’t necessarily think are that very accessible can be enjoyable.”

Meza said she and Magdaleno have been dating for a while, and he first introduced her to the world of plants and how to care for them.

“I wanted to make something about plants because it’s such a big thing for me, it’s like a recent experience,” he said. “I’ve always been scared of plants, but now I feel more comfortable with them.”

In terms of what is next for the artists, Meza said she is on her way to creating more in the realm of plants. She focuses on different areas of concentration, called portals, throughout each ?series of pieces.

“I like the idea of the stacking, but right now I’m working a lot with portals,” Meza said. “This is definitely like a plant portal for me, I want to work a lot? with plants.”

Magdaleno said he will continue to shoot video, but from a slightly different perspective than what he showed Friday.

“You can get really cool lenses for the iPhone that cost, seriously, six dollars, and it’s a microscope lens so you can film this at the microscopic level,” Magdaleno said. “That’s something I’ve been doing recently. I’ve been recording a lot of, like I said, micro. When do you really get this close to something and pay attention ?to it?”

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