Created by Debora Bernagozzi
Green Clouds Temple was recorded in January 2012 when I visited the town of Melaka while an artist in residence in Malaysia. The temple, also called Cheng Hoon Teng, is the oldest continuously operating temple in Malaysia, dating back to 1645. While I am not Buddhist or Taoist, this space resonated deeply within me – the strong presence of memorialized ancestors, the movements, sounds, and colors of ritual space shared by many thousands of people joined across generations. A few months after my time in Malaysia, during a residency at Squeaky Wheel in Buffalo, New York, I used a Max/MSP/Jitter patch to split the video into 4 copies of itself playing at different speeds and controlled through virtual oscillators. I then fed this 4 layer footage back through the system, resulting in multiple iterations, with the 4th containing 256 layers of video. I combined the different iterations together to create this piece. Brief moments were drawn out and altered, blending with the events preceding and following, creating a constantly evolving tapestry. The audio is a combination of pure and processed sound from the temple. I have found that pure documentation of ritual does not convey the emotional content, the feeling of the experience, adequately. I often process video using recursive systems, to create abstracted, experiential pieces that are in some ways more true than the unaltered footage.