Back and Gone

Beginning in the the fall of 2009, I was engaged in PAVED Arts new media production program, Throughput II: Speculative Video. I produced a video installation that considers the relationship between moving image and sound and continues my exploration into themes of vulnerability.

The element of sound, specifically the lack thereof, has figured prominently in my video work. The absence of audio distinguishes my video from traditional cinema or documentary genres and is intended to enhance the intimate qualities of the subject matter. The activity supported by Throughput II has enabled me to extend my investigation of the formal qualities of sound through the research, development and production of an acoustically treated viewing environment.

As this project will be on view for an extended period of time, it required an installation space that was accessible to the public yet did not occupy or interfere with the gallery’s regular exhibition schedule. I proposed the narrow service space that separated PAVED and AKA Galleries as it met certain logistic requirements and provided an opportunity to pursue a number of ongoing conceptual and aesthetic interests.

I have been interested in the poetic potential of the passage way and it has figured into my previous installations. The location for this installation introduces notions of an “in between space” neither here nor there. The space determined to a great extent the size and scale of the design and it narrows to a possibly uncomfortable or unmanageable width. The dark space is intended to exacerbate a sense of possible unease.

I’ve treated the interior to minimize echo within the space and create an unexpected auditory experience. By significantly reducing the acoustic stimulus, I hope to envelop the viewer in a conspicuous silence. Materials I have used for this project fulfill utilitarian and conceptual functions. I have finished the space with black felt. Its function is to suppress echo, reduce ambient light and provide a familiar or pleasurable tactile surface that may suggest warmth and comfort.

Through an increased awareness of the space, I hope to create a sense of solitude or isolation. This environment informs the reading of the video component. Shooting in low light and providing minimal information, the viewer is challenged to interpret the video image – an encounter with a figure, appearing into the light before receding again into darkness.