This past week we took a road trip down to Asheville, North Carolina. We needed to get away, if only for a few days, plus there was the added benefit of getting to see a new piece of mine in person.
It’s a bit unusual for me to have done a piece that i might find necessary to see in situ, as particularly video is mostly the same wherever it is shown (though the place/people may always change… and it’s true my work has gone to some interesting places where i wish i could also have gone along… but that is one of its benefits, it can travel mostly anyplace very easily nowadays). So the difference here is that this is a print piece, and until the trip one that i had only seen on-screen, so when we realized we could make the trip down, it made total sense.
Plus, i was looking forward to visiting Asheville; i had stopped through once in college, and that was very short, but i remember having a nice impression of the place.
All in all it was a really good trip, and it was great to see the piece up. This is part of the Window project, run by artist Dawn Roe; she has an arrangement with the print shop Henco Reprographics, which is located on a main (and busy) thoroughfare in Asheville, where they print the work and provide the window space for it.
They very nicely showed me the piece before it went up in the window. I was impressed with how well the piece came out print, as one thing i was concerned about was the contrast balance between the background (long quotations) and the foreground large quote/video images. Then, later on after the piece was mounted in the window, i really enjoyed the contrast between seeing it up close, with all the detail, and seeing it from afar. The large quotation is pretty visible (depending on the light) even from across the street, so i’m very curious how passersby may interact with it.
The whole setup and location of Window works very well; as a whole Asheville’s downtown is walkable and pedestrian friendly, and this street is among the busiest. Lots of shops, restaurants, etc, so there is ample opportunity for the work to get seen (and it’s also located at one of the stops on the city history walking tour). So, there is the opportunity for the work to become one of those things that makes people pause, approach, and hopefully examine.
This work has been pretty interesting for me in terms of the SS project. It was unexpected, but i feel a really good step to take that has brought me into little explored territory (where i need to go). In/voluntary Re/actions, as it’s called, is in some ways about the balance between detailed (and detached) analysis and the reflex mechanism. As much as we might want to step back and do the former, we are dominated by the latter. I’m very curious about what people’s response may be to this work, both to its small details and to the larger sweep of it, so i hope to hear about that. As surveillance takes over the streets of so many cities, i’m also interested to find out how people might analyze their own positions in street culture, wherever they are.
I did this mix of Fatherland back in 2008 (a couple of months before the ETC residency, where i did this remix), and recently found it again while looking through my files. I’ve always like this one, for a few reasons:
I love how the sound/image interplay works, when in the midst of the busiest and most dramatic part the image “trails” disappear, and all the turmoil is internalized in the images, and then at the very end the images of Quintin drift away;
this was an early play with the soundtrack having an input effect on the video;
it brings out a sense of the “history” of the matrix frame video process, a never ending stream of images.