Inspiring Installations

On sizable screens on the walls across from the School’s Ishibashi Gallery, two mesmerizing videos began running in January. Each a montage of images and sound – movement, music, and language – the two films were sometimes jarring, sometimes beautifully synchronized. Whether clashing or in concert, they evoked a range of emotions, thoughts, and questions about African American culture and experience.

The exhibition – And When They Danced Seeing Didn’t Help Them Keep Time – preceded the arrival of its creator, Logan Dandridge, a visual artist and educator who spent two days on campus as the second speaker in this year’s Spectrum Dialogues series, which is dedicated to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to meeting with students and faculty in smaller, optional gatherings on February 21, Mr. Dandridge addressed the school community during Saturday morning’s Assembly.

A graduate of the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. from University of Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art, Mr. Dandridge is an assistant professor of film and digital art at DePauw University. In his evening presentation, he showed two of his films and described the creative process behind them, primarily letting students’ questions guide his talk. Producing multi-channel video installations, like the one exhibited at Middlesex, is his preferred approach. “I like how different images are juxtaposed against each other as the two channels run,” he said.

To create his montages, Mr. Dandridge explained, “I do a lot of browsing, a lot of listening and looking. My process is pretty amorphous – what I’m inspired by dictates where it goes.” He may begin with a theme in mind and search for images – from historic events, dance performances, basketball games, or church services, for example – or he may let music lead the way. “I’m very interested in how the sound moves the work,” he reflected.

His films, he added, are also “amorphous,” as he is continually swapping out images, creating different iterations of each video. Given these many variations, audiences will likely come away with fresh perspectives and responses to his art – every time they experience his work.