By Raymundo Muñoz
I recently had the great pleasure of visiting new media artist and videographer Chris Bagley at his studio in Hinterland (which closes for good this December sadly, but reopens at a new location in Morrison, CO in 2017). I had peeked in before while checking out past shows at Rule Gallery nearby (when it was still in Hinterland), but somehow never managed to actually step in for a real studio visit. A fool am I as I’ve been missing out all this time.
Imagine being on the set of Mystery Science Theater 3000 — that’s a decent approximation. Minus the wisecracking robots. Then again…give the man some time.
Central to the space is a projector, beaming out constantly manipulated imagery — some of it interactive with the viewer — on a large screen dominating one wall. Every other perimeter is covered in all manner of electronic contraptions (e.g. microscope, oscilloscope, vintage portable televisions), tangled cables, and strange objects (e.g. an Egyptian sarcophagus, mannequin heads, a breakable guitar). Chris calls this space Dis-Graceland, a wry reference to some odd Elvis Presley paraphernalia in the studio.
For a visitor, it’s a magical and inspiring place. For the artist, I gather it’s much more.
Once Hinterland closes for good, though, Bagley’s beloved Dis-Graceland will shut its doors, too. And though the lights may dim and the heads stop spinning, regardless of where and when he finds a new creative dwelling, Chris Bagley is always working on something new — or as he puts it: “I’m just all over the place.”
Pictures from my studio visit with the artist can be seen below. Please check out more of Chris Bagley’s weird and wonderful work through his Instagram account rocknrollranch