Tag Archives: televisual language

Foothill Freeway

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Emergency! Season 2, Episode 12 (1972). Captured as part of The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert. Image depicts a Foothill Freeway bridge, running East-West, with the Los Angeles County Cascades in the distance. 

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A recent Google Street View image (and screen cap) showing the same location

Part of my ongoing Cascade work is related to the complex, cross-pollination (and conflation) of media and site, television and memory, location and dislocation. Of particular interest is the strange, media-cum-reality Google Street View database, which houses an ongoing, organic and constantly shifting dataspace that maps the movement of humans and development across much of the planet.

In my thesis, I expanded on a suggestion made by my mentor at the time, Kevin McCoy: many older television programs act as early forms of Google Street View themselves–an idea well represented in series like Emergency!, Adam-12, CHiPS, Knight Rider, Starsky & Hutch and The A-Team (to name a few).  These programs not only provide a rolling, documentary undercurrent, they also reinvent the candid spaces they intentionally and inadvertently capture when environmental footage becomes B-roll which haunts televisual structure like a ghost. Repetition and loops become part of the conceptual language of programming and of our parceled viewing experience.

As I take the Cascade in new directions, building videos, playing with new levels of digital imaging and paintings, I am revisiting the relationship between program footage and entries into the Google database–reflecting on the distance (or lack of distance) between forms of landscape documentation, invention and reinvention through various methods of capture. I am using more Google Street Views (literally and conceptually) in the implementation of new work.

Here are a few more Google Street Views of the same area represented by the above screen cap, from The Cascade:

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The last GSV (above) is shot past the overpass (where the emergency vehicles are parked in the television capture), heading up Highway 14.

Finding a Way Out of Here…

Doing a lot of audio and sound work with Ableton and Encore. I’m also ripping audio from my videos, tweaking them (subtly and/or completely) and allowing them to take on new form as disembodied episodes.

This is a rip (with subtle changes) from Elevator. Expect a lot of remixing, warping.

Thesis Semester, Engage (10-4, Rampart)

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A more connective, centralized install, featuring videos front and center. The videos would be displayed on separate televisions, not a laptop, but this arrangement opened discussion into the relationship between the painting and its video counterparts.

 

My thesis semester has begun…

Fresh from the January residency, crit notes in hand, I face a synthesis of work and research, method and methodology, text and talk.

I had the opportunity to show the interdisciplinary elements of The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert in several configurations, the last of which is highlighted (rather informally) in this post. A tightened space, slightly reminiscent of an entertainment center, invited the most connective read of the work, but the installation is not yet resolved. This semester’s studio component will allow me to finalize the most logical install. 

By and large, viewers felt the project was 90% complete and visually & conceptually fascinating. Most found the work contemporary, rich and relevant and enjoyed (or at least understood) the interdisciplinary approach. Dissonant responses mostly suggested focusing on one medium, rather than employing an interdisciplinary approach.

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One of the more linear installs, featuring the Viewmasters on a separate podium.

I also had the opportunity to show the video works in two time-based screenings, as large-scale projections.

For the first screening, I presented three of the “episodes” without context. Viewer response was compelling and surprisingly on-target, even for those unfamiliar with the project. Responses suggested a pervading sense of panic, time-ambiguity, doubt and narrative denial, recognizing an unstable televisual space where actions and reactions occur in a wormhole-loop. Other responses included a sense of confusion (what the hell is happening?) and recognition of color palettes and recast characters as iconographic moments.

The longer screening allowed me to briefly set up context, which actually led to fewer comments and questions after the showing. Perhaps the setup explains everything left confusing (or tantalizing?) in the original works.

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Screen cap from “Rental (Requesting Backup”

 

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My info “station,” featuring bibliography, works from previous semester and other vitals.

Though I’m not required to write an official residency summary this semester, I did excavate my residency notes, crystallizing a “road map” for my own backend use.

In a nutshell, my academic component is centered on writing the thesis and artist talk, completing any necessary (additional) side research, polishing my defense and practicing my performance.

The studio component will deal with resolving the installation, completing a third painting for the series, digging into the digital imaging (and true stereoscopy) and working through a few additional video episodes and presentation strings, in dialogue with my final mentor.

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Roy and the Mojave Subsequence – Finished Painting

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Finished the second painting in the series. Working title: Roy and the Mojave Subsequence, 2014. 38″ x 40″. Acrylic, watercolor on Lenox 100.

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To see the stages this painting passed through, view one of my earlier posts.