2011, 14 mins., silent
Impressions, regressions, confessions. A sampling of direct democracy; thinking of times past, and takin' it to the streets. It's a rather subjective, street-level view of the Zuccotti Park encampment and several demonstrations that I participated in. Footage is from OWS NYC Sept - Nov 2011.
The Third Space grew out of my photo/movie blog, Quotidian New York, which I used as a portable studio, recording and archiving photographs and movie clips of my daily whereabouts. In this case they include the Super King laundrymat in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Coney Island on the Fourth of July, the village of Saas-Fee in the Swiss Alps, and en route to Philadelphia from New York, on the Chinatown Bus. Choices of text size and font styles, transitions and timing, were determined by the limitations of iMovie.
The Third Space displays text the books I was reading while making this piece: Non-Places: Introduction to the Architecture of Supermodernity, by Marc Auge; Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, by Georges Perec; Basic Concepts, by Martin Heidegger; and Hatred of Democracy by Jacques Ranciere.
This piece is a purposely low-tech, low resolution video edited with bundled iMovie software, the only equipment I had at the time. Software theorist Lev Manovich is fond of asking us to check our ideas against our software, and make sure that the software isn't making our decisions for us. This video looks into Manovich's queries and reasons that necessity is the mother of creativity.
In A Station, Petals
2011, silent, video installation
In A Station, Petals is a video installation created for rear-screen projection onto a window facing the street. The image is created from hundreds of stills that were sourced from television shows that I watch, or used to watch, with some regularity. The television images have been cropped and re-sized simply to make them beautiful.
At first I enjoyed targeting small corners of the frame or scene on view, and from the practice of looking up close, noticed how race and gender stereotypes have been revised and renewed in the shorthand of tv-watching: white people always seem to be in trouble, and are usually in charge; black people embody moral responsibility and superior strength of character but are always in service of some kind - official or otherwise - to white people; Asians are similarly strong but rather than strong moral character, they are shown as having strong intellectual abilities and keen insights into a given situation. Asian men are now quite buff and hunky, with bulging arms to match their giant brains. Women are still beautiful, but now may also be somewhat complicated; white men are still on top, but all of the Others are catching up. I believe they will catch up only to be re-assigned new stereotypes, all in the service of pop culture and television drama.