Painting and Optics in the 17th Century: A discussion and screening of "Tim's Vermeer"
What makes Vermeer a great artist? Some would say that Vermeer’s use of color sets him apart, that his unabashed use of expensive and natural pigments resulted in rich expressions of everyday life, more beautiful and perfect than the thing itself. Some say that it was his innate capacity to achieve uncanny realism without any formal training, whatsoever. Others will argue that his poetic use of light and shadow to highlight certain compositional elements makes him unique. Tim Jenison will tell you that Vermeer was a great artist because he utilized a system of optical technologies to create his works.
The documentary “Tim’s Vermeer” follows Tim Jenison’s obsessive pursuit to prove that Vermeer’s works were a product of scientific innovation, a claim that has caused quite a stir in the art world. After the special screening, the producer of “Tim’s Vermeer,” Farley Ziegler, Tim Jenison himself, and SFI Professor Jessica Flack discuss the film, the space for science in and around art, and what constitutes a real painting. (Due to copyright, video from this community lecture does not include footage from the documentary. "Tim's Vermeer" can be rented or purchased through Amazon instant video).
About Tim Jenison
Considered the visionary force behind the desktop video revolution, Tim Jenison was an early personal computer enthusiast, seeing their potential to integrate his many passions: electronics, music, film, and video. Jenison recently attempted to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art, and that historic research project is now the subject of the acclaimed documentary, "Tim's Vermeer."
About Farley Ziegler
The Wall Street Journal called Farley Ziegler’s "Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art" “among the great art documentaries of the past half-century.” "Tim's Vermeer" is the latest in a long string of Ziegler’s award-winning productions, including Penn Jillette’s hit comedy "The Aristocrats" and a collaboration with Peabody-award winning monologist Joe Frank.