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LoVid: Hugs on Tape (Gene/Susan)


Hugs on Tape (Gene/Susan), 2022

Digital animation

NATIVE: Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 1920X1080, 00:11

EXHIBITION: H.264, 1920X1080, 15:04

Courtesy of FEED

RYAN LEE Gallery is pleased to present Hugs on Tape (Gene/Susan), a recent video animation from LoVid’s Hugs on Tape series. LoVid’s new work, on view in RLWindow from January 4th through March 4th, invites vibrant colors to explore the charming intimacy of the human body in the pandemic/internet age.

In 2001, artists Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus began working collaboratively as LoVid. Emerging from underground DIY culture, the duo’s distinctive visual style was born out of flickering Y2K warehouse parties: colorful, loud, and material. Combining their joint interests in art, music, video, and performance, LoVid began engaging with analog video synthesizers to develop a practice that places these instruments at the interface of physical touch, craft, and homemade engineering.

LoVid’s latest project, Hugs on Tape, continues their interest in the relationship between human bodies and mediated spaces in the twenty-first century. LoVid uses analog handmade tools to disrupt prevailing assumptions about innovation and to highlight relationships between natural and artificial worlds. These instruments, inspired by pioneer artist-made machines from the 1970s, convert electrical current into abstract moving image and sound compositions that bridge bodily experience into extended social networks.

Since the rise of cinema in the 1920s, society has been primed to receive and process emotions as delivered by displays of affection on the silver screen. Decades of consuming the human experience on screens, in private and public spaces, have primed us for direct connections via phone calls, texting, and social media—all of which recently culminated in humanity’s collective dependence on video call technology such as Zoom. By investigating the subject of human intimacy, LoVid’s Hugs on Tape series references collective desires for personal and physical contact despite recent changes to the social experience. This has informed the appreciation of social closeness and expanded feelings of connection through increased in-person events alongside a plethora of digital outlets. With Hugs on Tape, where people fuse with collective signals, LoVid places the increasingly familiar digital body into a warm embrace of tailored patterns.

LoVid Hugs on Tape (Erica/Sophia), 2022 Digital animation NATIVE: Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 1920X1080, 00:50 EXHIBITION: H.264, 1920X1080, 18:20

Hugs on Tape (Erica/Sophia) (still), 2022

Digital animation

NATIVE: Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 1920X1080, 00:50

EXHIBITION: H.264, 1920X1080, 18:20


Each hug captured by LoVid “bursts with joy”, and represents two layers of intimacy. Between the subjects, the first layer is represented in a personal moment filmed in private—none of the hugs captured in this series were filmed or directed by LoVid themselves. The ability to film each hug without a human audience in the moment allows for a spontaneous and genuine interaction between the subjects.

The second layer of intimacy is represented by the unique, colorful patterns for which LoVid is known, circling back to the artist’s founding collaboration with machines. The figures are animated as an embodiment of generative analog video patterns selected from their extensive library of source material. Each pattern is handmade and represents a memory, a moment in time the artists spent together creating. “They’re all memories, collected, patchworked, and treasured,” LoVid explains.


Adjacent to the Hugs on Tape video series, LoVid also creates digital tapestries that further transpose some of the imagery in the videos. Extending the Hugs on Tape animations, LoVid’s tapestries incorporate cinematic stills derived from specific frames of the video. In other cases, these textile works remove human figures entirely, instead displaying compositions that are reminiscent of 1960s abstraction and of digital circuitry. In both instances, the viewer is presented with something simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic.

LoVid Hedgerow Expansion, 2022 Dye-sublimation on Poly canvas, with hand stitching 36 1/2 x 48 1/4 inches (92.7 x 122.6 cm)

Hedgerow Expansion (detail), 2022

The physical act of tapestry-making—the hand-stitching, outlining and joining sections of imagery— echoes the physical processes of splicing and editing in the early days of film. LoVid’s tapestries are hand stitched into a unique composition and printed using dye sublimation. This process achieves high saturation with a sheen evocative of a TV-screen. None of the tapestries are simple snapshots of the videos. Instead, by processing media through multiple channels, Hugs on Tape translates both motion and emotion into still, 2-dimensional objects.


Hugs on Tape (Erica/Anton), 2022

Digital animation with sound

NATIVE: Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 1920X1080, 00:38

EXHIBITION: H.264, 1920X1080, 14:04