TESSERAE OF VENUS : GHOSTDANCE
with music by Pauline Oliveros
Tesserae signal supersaturated carbon and methane topographies of our sister planet, Venus. In California, large scale energy landscapes, from natural gas and geothermal plants to water control, dominate huge landscapes. Could it be here that the first poetics of a future landscape of carbon saturation appear? What does living in a landscape of massive ambient atmospheric threat and beauty feel like? What is the deep connection between our footsteps, our voices, our machines, our breathing and our planet? How are we finding ourselves in these places both beautiful and dangerous, slipping on the sticky tiles of the tesserae, slimed with carbon-laden air, strange brews, and luscious sunsets...
Sites: Sacramento River Delta Natural Gas; Salton Sea Geothermal System; Ballona Wetlands and the California Aqueduct, Los Angeles.
Technical note: This single channel installation video* combines smaller films from the Tesserae of Venus series into a large ambient work enhanced by the music of Pauline Oliveros.
Concept, direction, cinematography, montage, sound design: Christina McPhee 2009 christinamcphee.net
Ambient site sound composition remixed to Pauline Oliveros, Ghostdance, ©Deep Listening Publications, ASCAP). paulineoliveros.us/
Apple HDV 1080i60 digital video 16:9 1920 x 1080
also available in extra long format: 3840 x 1080 or as a two channel work at 1920 x 1080 per screen.
Sound: multichannel (2 to 5) Dolby, 48 khz
For curatorial or screening inquiries please contact the artist: naxsmash at mac dot com
A naxsmash group production 2009
*TESSERAE OF VENUS (PART TWO) in production 2010
Premiere (beta version, without Ghostdance soundtrack): Tesserae of Venus Part One, installation videoISEA (Intersociety for Electronic Arts) Belfast, University of Ulster Art Gallery, Ireland, curated by Kathy Rae Huffman, July-August, 2009.
NOTES: Imagine conditions of carbon saturation in the atmosphere beyond 550 parts per billion. A new world is being born-- assembling in energy producing sites at the edges of cities, in the remote littoral regions, wetlands and scrublands, deserts and outliers. Tesserae appear and disappear in montage--stand-ins (metonyms) for the landscape of Venus, where tesserae, or complex ridged folds, are characteristic of the surface tectonics under the heavy weight of the carbon and methane entropic atmosphere of Venus. As if Venus arrives on Earth, the tesserae are post-digital traces of the atmospheric crisis on Earth. Where this crisis emerges is in the promise and desperation of the landscapes of new energy production. Alternative and petroleum energy extraction is usually going on in rejected or neglected natural areas, especially littoral or marginal streambeds, riverbeds, and swamps or sloughs in estuaries near the ocean. Usually this is because of the need for large amounts of water for cooling. Thus an assemblage of disconnected elements are thrown together. The point of contact is a kairotic moment—that's where the video montage is an attempt to condense these points and extract their sweetness, like squeezing fruit for a stream of luscious juice.