Sundance's New Frontier exhibit at the border of art and technology

Digital art • Seven installations reveal how digital artists are playfully experimenting with high-tech tools.
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From an iPad to a planetarium dome, just about everything becomes useful as a canvas for new-media art works at the Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier at The Yard. Even the building where it's held is used in a new art installation.

New Frontier at The Yard hosts seven new art installations that obliterate the boundaries between film, art, new media and technology. One of them, "What's He Building in There?", is a series of video images projected on The Yard's building.

"New Frontier is designed to be able to show innovation in the new-art world and the new-media world," said curator Shari Filot. "We are full hog into the digital revolution."

It's the exhibit's seventh year, and in that time, audiences have begun identifying more with what digital artists are trying to do with their high-tech tools, including the use of computers, digital projectors and mobile devices. "It has grown from a tool to something that has been more integrated into life," Filot said of the use of digital equipment. "People are way more into this work than before."

This year, there are seven installations from six artists and two artist collectives from as far away as Montreal, Europe and Australia.

Here is what is showing:

Cityscape 2095 • A large video screen projecting different landscapes in a loop, including a bustling Asian cityscape of neon and cars.

What's He Building in There? • U.S.-based Klip Collective, led by director Ricardo Rivera, produced a series of videos and animations and used The Yard in Park City as its projection screen. The videos will only be shown on the building beginning at dusk each night. "My piece is like a vampire, it only comes out at night," Rivera said. "My storyboard is basically the outline of the building. It's interesting to see the whole building come alive.", Augmented Real • Up-and-coming rapper Yung Jake — ask him where he's from and he replies, "the Internet" — has created an augmented reality version of a new music video that plays from a mobile app (available for iPhone and Android). Turn on the app and point the phone's camera at the picture of a drawing of a rock made by Jake, and it launches the 3-D version of him singing his song. The picture will be posted all over Park City.

"Coral: Rekindling Venus" • Underwater footage is projected on an all-encompassing theater dome to convey the serenity of the oceans. The film is being shown simultaneously during the festival at nearly a dozen planetariums around the country, including the Clark Planetarium, 110 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City.

Artist Lynette Wallworth said she wanted to project the film on planetarium domes because "it's visceral, you really feel like you're moving through water," she said. "What I really relate to as an artist is what we feel."

As a second part to the installation, viewers can download a mobile app (for iPhone and Android) called Coral RKV, point the phone's camera at different pictures of coral in the exhibit, and they turn into 3-D representations that you can see from all sides.

Eyjafjallaj√∂kull • Artist Joanie Lemercier created a polygonal representation of the volcanic eruptions from this Icelandic ice cap. The imagery is projected on two walls.

Pulse Index • Montreal artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer created this three-way projected mural made up of people's fingerprints taken from a biometric scanner. Visitors are invited to put a finger in the scanner, which will read their heartbeat and project a microscopic picture of their fingertip on the wall along with more than 10,000 other fingers.

North of South, West of East • A series of four films is projected on each wall of a room, while at certain times the stories interconnect in subtle ways. Actor Ben Foster ("3:10 to Yuma") stars in one of the films. —

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New Frontier art exhibit

Where • 1251 Kearns Blvd., Park City

When • Friday, Jan. 18, 2 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 19, through Friday, Jan. 25, noon to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 26, noon to 3 p.m.

Tickets • Free