Billy Friebele has always found big box stores to be disorienting. One day while filling his cart, walking from one end of a store to the other, he wondered how far he had traveled and what his path looked like. In an attempt to understand these mundane experiences in new ways, Friebele started recording these movements with video cameras and GPS units.
Big box stores are contemporary versions of traditional markets, which usually function as both commercial and social centers for a town. Nowadays the social component is often lost; one sees other shoppers cruising the aisles in a disorientated manner, whispering to themselves as a reminder of what they came to buy in the first place. The goods purchased are shipped from all over the world, with no real reference to where they came from. Targets and Walmarts have expanded to fill the country. The idea of a localized store or market has been absorbed by the homogenized sameness that we seem to find comforting.
In this project, Friebele translates walking into an act of drawing, highlighting the patterns that our bodies continually draw and re-draw as we traverse contemporary spaces. He is interested in how the forms that arise out of these walks reveal the container of our movements and patterns of commerce.
About the Artist
Billy Friebele lives and works in Washington, DC. He received a Masters in Fine Arts in from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work examines the intersection of new media and public space through video, animation, and installation. Friebele has exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC. He has also recently exhibited works in Sarajevo, Bosnia; Jatiwangi, Indonesia; Detroit, MI; Boston, MA; and St. Louis, MO, among other places. He is Assistant Professor of Digital Media at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
FLAT OUT is a bi-weekly rotating video series curated by Nicole Bebout. For the series, new works by emerging and experimental artists from across the globe are displayed on a LCD screen mounted at the entrance of AC Institute.