John Sturgeon ©1982
color, 22:00 minutes, stereo

A dramatic, poetic work on the transformative process of being, SPINE/TIME quests for an essential understanding of time and the nature of discovery, in time, as the self engages in personal archeology and future scans at the edges of consciousness - separating, purifying and assembling the essence of the data. The spine, not the brain, is spiritual key to the integration of experience of the larger Self. We might conceive of the spine as a conduit for travel within the canvas of self and that as one probes and moves within that time/space we begin to approach that which is timeless and universal. Set locale includes the deserts of Utah and the geyser basin areas of Wyoming. The pixelized camera generated sequences (early, original digital manipulations), graphically display an alchemical precept through abstraction, 'that which is essential is not destroyed'.

Produced from 1980-1982 in Los Angeles, CA; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming; and the deserts of Utah; post-production Seattle, Washington. Original digital software design by Lyon Labs.

The artist's communication is direct, speaking from a spiritual source within his inner self. He develops a tension that provokes the viewer, necessitating a personal response.... SPINE/TIME 's formal structure is linked by a chain of events that associate ideas, culminating with an emotional liberation.

Kathy Huffman, Curator, Second Link 1983

In this tape, Sturgeon seems to be representing humankind in search of its history and its meaning. In stylized actions he seeks it in earth and water, in the desert (as Biblical prophets did), and finally finds it in himself.

Anne Edgerton, Curator, Young Talent Awards 1963-1983
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1983

For him (Sturgeon) technical energy is organized in a particular way which is not separate from his own being - there is a mystical union which he does not fear.... He tells us that his individuality is no longer important and 'As the wheel turns, the knife and kiss are one. And in that moment of embrace, I am wing and air'.

Marie Morgan, The New Narrative, Banff Centre, 1984

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