A continuing project (2005-2008)
Description: LCD flatscreen behind a standard photographic matte embedded in a picture frame. The flatscreen is activated by laptop computer components that are also embedded in the frame. Dimensions: 16"x20"x4".
The videograph project was originally conceived as a reaction to the inherent sterility of digital artwork. Although digital art can be fascinating technologically, it generally lacks presence of the artist. For this reason it often fails to move a viewer emotionally and the communication between the artist and viewer is missing.
Exploring a solution to this dilemma, the first set of videographs began as moving portraiture. Subjects were asked to look into the camera lens and stare at their reflection in the glass. They were then asked to look at this reflection and focus on the love that they feel for themselves, their blessings and accomplishments, the beauty in their own image. Simply, they were asked to look upon their reflection with love. The videos that were recorded during these moments were then processed into seamless loops and displayed on flatscreens embedded in standard picture frames, borrowing from the aesthetic of standard portrait photography. As the viewer stands in front of the video portrait confronting the moving image, they are looked upon with love as it emanates from the subjects eyes and face. Although the viewer is a stand-in for the subject's own reflection, the love is real nonetheless.
Further explorations involved alternative uses of text. As books have a way of revealing a strong presence and voice of the author, text seemed to be a natural conduit for an artist/viewer connection. The problem is, who wants to read art? As a solution, I began to display sentences as flashing single words, so that they could not be read in the traditional sense. As the viewer looks upon the words flashing at a rate of twelve per second, sentences form in the viewer's mind as a kind of mental after-image. Within this format, I have been writing poetry that lends itself to being rearranged by the viewer's thoughts, altering the meaning somewhat depending upon the viewer's disposition at the time of engagement with the work. In this way I endeavor to create a mix of my own voice and that of the viewer's.
Other videographs have involved visceral fragmentations of expressive features of the face and body, invocations of sense memory, and most recently animations mixed with flashing text. There are still many avenues that I have yet to explore with this format and there are still many ways in which it must be possible to instill presence of the author within digital works so that they may wield the same power and movement and to be considered in the same regard as paintings and sculptures and other traditional forms of art.