There’s a first time for everything and as it turns out, the Sarasota Art Museum (SAM) is not exempt from the laws of the universe. The Museum, still in its infancy after officially opening their  doors in December of 2019, will feature its first exhibition dedicated to video and digital media this fall, when Journeys to Places Known and Unknown: Moving Images by Janet Biggs and peter campus arrives on October 2nd. The exhibition, organized by independent curator Terrie Sultan, will feature the contrasting methods of how Biggs and Campus, two artists of different generations, employ moving images to explore the concepts of time and space. Not only does the exhibition mark the first time that SAM is dedicating a space to video and digital media, but it also marks the artists first time collaborating on a joint exhibition.

 Installation view of  Journeys to Places Known and Unknown: Moving Images by Janet Bigs and peter campus, Sarasota Art Museum photo by Tierney Campus, @muggenborg 3v2.


“Peter and Janet were introduced to one another professionally by Terrie Sultan. Ever since then, they’ve struck this wonderful artistic partnership that over the last years: they’ve been in conversation about each other and their work, much of it dealing with the themes of nature and science that underpins both of their works,” says Emory Conetta, previously the Assistant Curator at SAM. “Peter’s a generation older than Janet. He’s been very influential in thinking about new media that first emerged in the 1970s. His work is more intrapersonal, where Janet goes out into the world, he’s interested in nature in front of him.” Because it is SAM’s first time dedicating an exhibition and an entire floor to this type of medium, the museum has had to adapt the gallery space to best service the art. Viewing motion pictures is an entirely different experience as opposed to observing static artwork and had to be treated as such. “For this exhibition, we really wanted to break things up. Much of the art requires their own personal space for each piece, we’ve created a lot of mini-rooms throughout the 2nd floor so visitors can focus on each piece instead of being distracted by lots of works in one space at once,” says Conetta. These individual rooms act as miniature theaters. Not only is the light from each piece contained, but the sound is as well, creating a more immersive experience for the viewer. 

It’s a challenge that Conneta hopes will be well worth the effort. “I think that the wonderful thing about this kind of media is that it asks a little bit more of the visitor. There are works in the show that are durations of five, six, seven, eight minutes long. To get a whole sense of the piece, you want to spend more time with it as opposed to a static piece, which is super exciting to think about,” Conetta says.

Sarasota Art Museum Oct 2- Jan 15, 2023,