Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas
The main emphasis of my artistic investigation is the sculptural application of time-based media. Increasingly, this takes the form of experiential media installations that incorporate the use of gestural performance and choreographed action. At the core of my concerns is the position of the individual in our world of linkage and adaptation. Interconnecting concepts drawn from phenomenological psychology and neuroscience, specifically concepts of consciousness and neuroplasticity, inspires me. I am interested in how developments in these fields relate to issues of personal, artistic, and societal agency. The recent installation and performance, IGVONNE, examines Yvonne Rainer and Iggy Pop as archetypes of the creative individual, both private and public.
IGVONNE attempts to make Houston pass badly for Berlin circa 1976-77. During these years North American musician Iggy Pop and North American artist and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer happened to be living in Berlin, each of them at a pivotal moment in their respective careers. Pop was reinventing himself as a solo artist with the help of David Bowie, and Rainer was shifting from choreography to filmmaking. IGVONNE examines Pop and Rainer as creative archetypes and the idea of an ideal context from which to create. Slowed down and performed on harmonium and saw, the songs The Wayward Wind and Pop’s Passenger waft in the humid air, adding a sense of longing for elsewhere.
MOTION STUDY compares internet footage of Rainer and Pop circa 1977. It serves as the basis for choreography I developed and plays on one of the televisions in the IGVONNE window installation. Tina Shariffskul and Daniel Adame perform the choreography for the camera and in a live performance with Robert Appleton singing Pop’s Passenger, accompanied by harmonium. The performance takes place in the disused club next door during the opening reception. In the windows, the performance appears as a fake live-feed from Berlin that loops endlessly. The choreography appears in several other videos, performed at the windows, on the roof, and in my studio.
At sunset, a transformation occurs in the installation. Reflections on the windows of downtown Houston fade and the saturation of the nine video screens deepen. A camera pointed at the viewer from inside the windows plays on one of the televisions. This image shifts from the viewer’s silhouette imposed onto the scene across the street to the viewer’s image immersed in the constructed pas de deux of Pop and Rainer. This is a low-tech effect created by positioning the camera on an extreme angle to the window pane next to the motion study video. It picks up the reflection of the motion study on the glass and superimposes it on the viewer.