Bare Life press release:

A multi-channel photomontage animation that is presented as an object similar to an altar piece or a product display. It is constructed from an LCD screen and personal media players. It functions as a machine to contain, decipher and display images gathered from online sources. It situates itself within a soft-fascism, producing a baroque spectacle that unfolds and repeats. It, perhaps, is a clockwork meant to tell the time in an age of tech-fetish and availability at a glance.

Inside and out, the obsessive accumulation and reorganization reflects indefinitely between the virtual machine and the machine at large.


From the catalogue for Agency: Art and Advertising, Kevin Concannon and John Noga, 2008:

Resembling a bizarre altarpiece or perhaps a product display at a munitions fair, Cliff Evans’ Bare Life: Booth Girls and Storm-troopers: Accumulation combines images of booth girls and storm-troopers in a dizzying multi-channel video montage viewed on an LCD screen and four personal media players below. At first, the storm-troopers appear spread across a stage of some sort with elaborately draped blue curtains behind them and weapons at the ready—an honor guard of some sort for a strange ritual taking place in a basilica retrofitted as a hideout for Darth Vader’s Empire. As the (virtual) camera pulls back, an inscrutable wheel of vaguely futuristic military vehicles turns slowly on its axis of evil. Gradually the shot reveals a bevy of booth girls—images of scantily clad young women like those employed at industrial trade shows—emerge from some sort of escalator (the bowels of the Death Star, perhaps) onto the stage. The soundtrack plays a plodding march by what sounds like an ill-rehearsed high school band, and industrial noise fades up slowly. A translucent turning globe appears that seems to be either composed entirely of gas or the holographic communications system that ought rather bring a message from the Rebel Princess. It looks eerily like a mushroom cloud instead. The booth girls multiply and glide endlessly across the screen in both directions likes sitting ducks in a carnival shooting gallery. Several Sony IPELA™ surveillance cameras fly into the screen, obscuring the “shooting gallery.” As the cameras clear the screen another troop of booth girls appears, ascending from below, filling the frame. The transitional element of the cameras is a telling device. Originally developed for internet communication, the cameras are now widely touted for surveillance applications. The connection with Bare Life’s content is striking. As the Sony website explains, the word ‘IPELA’, is ‘created from the IP of IP networks and the Italian for beautiful, BELLA. The identity of this new solution expresses the SONY vision for the workplace of the future.’

In the endless pan backwards, we see the storm-troopers literally shielded by alternating rows of shapely booth girls. The surveillance cameras appear again and the screen momentarily becomes a skin of female flesh as tight shots of tight young stomachs transform viewer into voyeur. A flashing red button (the button?) appears alone onscreen. The antiseptic armor of the futuristic warriors is endlessly obfuscated by beautiful flesh. The smell of sex and death, just below the seductive surface, is digitally deodorized. In the “predella panel” below a naked human herd sprints across a desolate mountainous landscape. They wear desiccated, horned animal skulls as masks and appear to have surgically altered backsides. Is it future, or is it past? Perhaps it’s bare life, just as it always was.
— Kevin Concannon