Tennessee Rice Dixon explores the personalities of Abel Flint with her evocative imagery.
She examines the historical Abel Flint, an American priest of the early 1800s who wrote a book on geometry and trigonometry for surveyors, through non-linear moving images. These images consist of Midwestern flatlands, old letters and documents from Illinois, settlers farming on nearly barren land, tools and diagrams of measurement (area maps, districting grids, arrows and letters, a human protractor, geometric formulae, compass line extensions), still rivulets running off into nighttime horizons that begin to fill with mysteriously undulating lights, and many other subtle and evocative visuals. These un-romanticized, graceful montages lock the viewer into a period-authentic yet transcendental experience. The performance is accompanied by live plaintive guitar gestures, occasional ambient sounds (a passing train, crickets), folk singing, and an odd computer voice narration. In her interview, Dixon discusses her transition to live digital animation and her work on websites.
Starting from a painting and writing background, Tennessee Rice Dixon was one of the first artists to work in digital animation (for example, her award-winning CD-ROM "ScruTiny in the Great Round" and her CD-ROM "aCount") and in live performance animation (e.g., her interactive multimedia project "Backtide at the Altar"). Dixon is also an accomplished commercial designer and a consultant to several large companies.
Aired on rTV: 2002
Performance: May 13, 1998
Produced by Jim Staley