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.
Once one starts creating simple plans for cool pads and swell digs in free downloadable architectural modeling software it is, basically, difficult to stop. The obsession is not singular - one can find free goodies online from similarly obsessed individuals who create complete sets of software-compatible furniture, various types of doors and windows, spiral staircases, perfectly modeled bowls of apples and other...
anyway, it's incredibly fun to use.
In 1973, sculptor Frank Gillette made a 23-minute videotape called Tetragrammaton at a beach near New York. It is one element of a six-part video installation called Six Matrices, from 1971 - 73. Gilette's camera focuses on ripples in the sand, driftwood, shells, and feathers and then swings out wildly to a long shot of the sea and the horizon. At one point, Gillette swings the camera 360-degrees, and at other points he stays glued to one small object in the sand, defining with his camerawork the body of the artist as well as his surroundings.
While capturing video with my cell phone at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn one day, the blurred and pixelated images began to remind me of Frank Gillette's videotape. His title refers to an archaic Hebrew word formed by the four letters YHWH, representing the name of the god, a name too sacred to be spoken aloud, and a word that only a few people from each generation are taught to pronounce.
I went back to the beach for the next few days with Frank Gillette in mind and edited this piece from cell-phone files that I had emailed to myself and downloaded to edit. Tetragrammaton, is a response to Frank Gillette. In making this video, I began to see the function of the spiritual as separated from the funciton of the philosophical, as unassociated with belief systems, logic and morality.
One channel of the video was processed through the Paik-Abe Raster Scan Device ( aka Wobulator ) This is a modified black and white monitor designed for electromagnetic deflection of the video raster via control voltages. Thanks to the Experimental Television Center!
2010, 8:39, 2-channel installation
video and sound by Cecilia Dougherty
The Third Interval is named for Paul Virilio's writings on speed, the Internet, the human place on the electronic bullet train. Shot with my old Nokia cell phone, and mixed with Apple's GarageBand software, this is a low-tech homage to all the lives that are lived in between the spaces of the coming moments of communication over/under-load. Additionally, I was in the mood for letting the horror of everyday life surface for a few minutes - the confusion, noise, and the universe of near-hits that I often feel pulling at my heels. And one should remember that the horror movie is, most of all, create for the fun of it.
Post-production partially funded by the Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University.
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.