A few days ago, I ran across an article that contained in the title the words “Via: 48 Dante Variations,” and I immediately had the idea of using all the available translations I could find on the Web of the opening tercet as a vocal accompaniment in a video piece based on a famous scene from Tarkovsky’s “Nostalghia.” Alas, I was a tad too late. The very first sentence of the article, which I returned to in a day or so, told me that its subject was Caroline Bergvall’s hypnotic sound performance of just this material. Never one to let go of a good idea (even when it’s not mine!), I forged ahead, found a clip of the Tarokovsky scene, one that unfolds—agonizingly—in real time rather than “cinema” time, decided that only Philip Glass’s violin concerto would fit in, too, and took the liberty of eliminating Ms. Bergvall’s source citations in her reading, references that somehow didn’t fit in the video clip I envisioned. The result was an exploration of, for me, that troubling notion of “real” time versus constructions—films, poems, novels—that try to represent it, and especially how these constructions try to suggest the altogether arbitrary notions of beginning, middle, and end.

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