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Jason Gutz is connected

Melding the comic with the experimental in sequences

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As a general art student at the University of Washington, Jason Gutz was drawn to the conceptual side of things.  “I never got that line quality thing,” he told me.

I was watching him, along with his Boeing engineer brother-in-law, put together the centerpiece of his “Sequences” installment, which will show at Rampart beginning on May 5 and will stay on view for two months.  At that opening, Jason will highlight several different types of sequences, from the cabinetted televisions broadcasting a connected series of films in a “comics” style, to the sequenced readings of Skie Bender while Gutz and Kevin Jacobs play an atmospheric backdrop of sounds, to Bloodclot playing live to Super 8 films, to the sequentially ordered 50-inch wide portraits put together from 60 individual stills obtained from videotaping — slowly — faces.

In his day job for TVW, essentially the C-SPAN for Washington State, Gutz explains that he shoots film segments airing in-between live coverage. “I try to keep them (viewers) entertained before the grand-slam excitement of the meeting.”

But his personal fulfillment comes from more experimental and creative means.  Gutz plays trumpet, modified with a practice mute with a guitar jack that’s then fed through effects, for the band Bloodclot, which creates music for experimental films like those Gutz creates.

Gutz described his work with Bloodclot as “sound collages.”

He added, “The stuff I really dig is when its just a textural thing we get with sound.”

He explains, “That works into a lot of the films I like.”

With this show, Gutz hopes to illustrate Scott McCloud’s concept, which states that comics are static, pictorial images in deliberate spatial sequence.

“I always wanted to be a comic book artist, but I had a falling out (with the medium.)” Guts said.

McCloud’s book, “Understanding Comics,” brought Gutz to a point of clarity that led him to link the art form of the comic back to the earliest days of Sumerian written communication, to cathedrals and chapels.

Gutz’ stated goal is to “bring back the story to modern art; recreate it as my definition of comics.”

For this show at Rampart, he’ll use a cabinet filled with televisions running DVDs playing his Negovision stories in loops.  Negovision is a Super 8 creation of Gutz’ that films actors in positive, with attention paid to makeup that will create a comic face when the film is processed to its negative image, with the story told in comic-book bubbles.

The large screens will show the “backbone of the narrative”, while the smaller ones will show flashbacks; arrows will suggest which way viewers should “read” the story, but according to Gutz, “However the person wants to read the story, they can read the story.”

[Rampart, open Saturday, May 5, 7 p.m., 712 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.223.6300]

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