My intent for “Frontier” was to create a visually-rich abstract environment by blending together a wide assortment of video imagery, ranging from natural phenomena (water, sky, etc.), to rapidly-scanned street scenes, to manipulated faces shot off a television screen. Central to the visual field is a slowly moving window frame structure that allows these various visual sequences to be seen together, viewed both inside and outside the animated “window” openings, allowing for an ongoing figure/ground play of contrasting imagery. While these image pairings play out, additional visual elements eventually course across the picture plane like storms, sometimes obscuring the window frame structure beneath.
I collaborated with two sound artists for “Frontier”: Argentinian composer Martin Gendelman, and my son, Elliott Grabill. The predominant soundtrack element derives from Elliott’s composition for chorus, “Hathors”, in which Elliott channels vocalizations from an extraterrestrial people.