Jim Serbent

In the late ’60s during a USAF tour of duty in the Far East I learned the essentials of still photography as well as the fundamentals of sumi-e (Japanese ink painting) and the tenets of Zen. Following military service and subsequent studies for a degree in communications, I pursued a career in broadcast video production where composing and editing the moving image not only demanded extensive photographic expertise but practical knowledge of all aspects of media production from audio to special effects. Although much creative energy is tapped for producing, directing and scripting, my true artistic calling was not fully realized in the commercial video arena. I attained complete artistic freedom through independent video art projects and digital print making. Since retirement from TV broadcasting I now focus on these endeavors daily. Since the early 1980s my artworks have been featured at: The Whitney Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Triton Museum of Art, Washington Project for the Arts, DC Art Center, Arlington Arts Center, Faber Birren National Color Award Show, AFI and numerous other film festivals, and art spaces in New York, Washington DC, Virginia and California.

Because my prints are almost always multi-layered or multi-paneled, often incorporating video-generated imagery, I consider myself more of a digital print maker than a fine art photographer. Video art and digital printmaking are my primary media, the latter bifurcating into abstracts and the Koan series. Many of the abstracts are unique in that video feedback, a process exploited by video art pioneer Nam Jun Paik, played a significant role in their creation.

As digital photographic collages, the Koan (Japanese for puzzle) series encourages intuitive contemplation beyond the surface of what we see. Allow these works to jolt your mind into a new state of awareness. Let them confound conventional thinking and mundane interpretation.

Through the abstracts one can glimpse cosmic ruminations where completely unknown forces are at play. Natural phenomena such as elements of light, clouds, water and earth merge with video-generated forms, fractal imagery and digital brush strokes to imagine concepts of dark matter, dark energy and recently detected gravity waves. Our universe overflows with ineffable wonder. Explorations of time, place, energy, thought and memory provide the springboard for both the abstract compositions and the Koan series.