I Thought I’d Escaped the 20th Century, Artist Statement
500 minute video loop + 10 print series
A World Without Divisions
Today’s focus on political issues involving migration and cultural or religious conflict, along with challenges to received notions of tolerance and who we should love, has heightened our awareness of the divisions we’ve inherited. By contrast, this video is a seamless, perfect whole, with no beginning, middle or end. It dramatizes the dissolution of traditional ideologies and old models of belonging. What’s taking its place is a fluid reformation and renewal of alternative social forms. But this is an organic perfection – its strength comes out of the analog variations found within its individual raw materials.
CGI, the Gesture in Music, and Visual Art
The mega-duration video at the heart of this grouping of works was made by adapting CGI tools from the entertainment industry for use in a visual art context. The work’s thousands of visual parameters (that determine a colour gel’s position, rotation, etc.) are added as numbers, in a making process that’s similar to editing code.
But, within the editing software there’s also the option of swiping your hand to the left or right over each number in order to change it; and with this work, each parameter was determined by such a hand gesture. Regardless of the “machine precision” of a digital working context, this involvement of the artist’s hand connects the work to the gesture in music, where minute variation and chance are part of each bowing of a violin, movement between piano keys, etc.
Dissolving 20th Century Material Into Idea
I made this work out of six photographic colour gels. I often work with filmic, plastic, or paper detritus from the last century. To work with these objects using this new century’s tools, they first needed to be converted into math (zeros and ones) and reconstituted into digital images. This relationship between physical form and applied mathematics is where we now live.
I tend to work in zones between art’s traditional mega-categories such as music and photography, or time-based versus plastic forms. This is where they meet and exchange ideas. This artwork is my using new tools to try to strike a balance between these groups. It’s post-durational, and is suited to exhibition modes where we don’t know when a viewer will enter the room.