Vestige: n., a trace of something that no longer or cannot exist.
In my films I create an atemporal, interconnected space that suggests a unique reality to unsettle subconscious emotions and thought. When I film a particular subject, I do not set out with a preconceived notion, but rather engage in an in-depth exploration of the elements within it. My work at times investigates unknown landscapes, and at other times organically observes the natural realm.
My latest work, Vestige, has been influenced by Michel Foucault’s idea of heterotopia, in which a new world is created by joining together discursive spaces. In making this film I became an optical and sonic researcher. That is, I immersed myself in an environment and waited for the world to reveal itself to me through the filter of my subjective perception. The sounds and images that arrived to my senses were sometimes obvious and temporally stagnant; other times they were ephemeral incidentals waiting to be immortalized.
The sound edit is composed of multi-layered field recordings and archival sounds. They are harmonious and reminiscent of nature, but simultaneously have a cacophonic and almost hyperreal quality at times. The incorporation of both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds additionally contributes to the heterotopia formed in the film. Each soundscape involves both auditory aspects of the shots that I edited together as well as aids the viewer in visualizing something that is not present but possibly imagined.
By varying the filmic quality when capturing the images in Vestige through the use of different film media such as digital, film print, and re-purposed archival footage, the experiences of the ordinary natural and human world resemble “discursive spaces.” These so-called moments, in combination with the sound, are necessary to weave together a heterotopia, which at once somehow represents reality, but also lends a sense of “other-ness.”
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts MFA in Photography + Film First Year Candidacy Film. Completed April 2020.