Bertram's Room began life as an audio track that eM (Michael Bentley) constructed for the No Compression Festival compilation CD. No Compression (an evening of collaboratively functioning music, sound, and video) was a site-specific performance held in a 10,000 square foot abandoned bank on April 28, 2001 in downtown Syracuse, New York.
Since this event encompassed video performance, as well as audio, putting together a visual component to accompany the audio track seemed a good idea. The video would carry out the theme around which the audio track was composed, semi-autobiographical samples and references; and because the Bentley family resided in Syracuse at the time, there were plenty of appropriate CNY images, in the form of photographs, to work with. The montage approach seemed an aesthetically correct choice, complementing the calmly repeating audio drones and glitches.
Artist's note 2018:
This is officially the first video I created, though the heavy lifting of taking my photos and turning them into a timed video (and not just a sequenced slideshow) was done by Dean Santomieri. Thank you Dean!
Dedicated to my family.