Monday, May 19, 2008

Sight is a feeling


shelter, ancestors, transportation (2008)
single-channel digital video
color, sound, 3:02

These video stills are from a series of performance works that I began creating in September, 2007, while at the Can Serrat Artist’s Residency in Spain. When I arrived, stories of global immigrations were very much on my mind. These changing cultural maps led me to consider the individual as the new nation. And all that that might imply about our connections to the history of a place and the land itself. I created belongings, marks, and earth puts on a mask during this time away. Upon my arrival back in Austin, I performed the return and shelter, ancestors, transportation. infinite return (bird on the sun) combines the landscapes of Catalunya and Texas; my body serves as the bridge between.

belongings (2007)
single-channel digital video
color, sound, 3:15

I begin with what we carry.

I am crawling along the foothills, making my way across almond fields, belly to ground. The land will not register my passing. The earth here is solid, compacted. I can walk in boots and leave no trace. I wrap stones around my feet so the mountain will remember: that I prayed and breathed it in and asked and listened and broke open and imagined. And what I saw. The people once fled into this same landscape of serrated mountains, running to and from, escaping. It is in the dust, as are all crossings: Gibraltar, the Canaries, the Atlantic. Our what ifs are immense. Our bodies makeshift rafts on open seas, and ladders pushing walls.

marks (2007)
single-channel digital video
color, sound, 1:15

earth puts on a mask (2007)
single-channel digital video
color, silent, 2:21

Is this the universal? Actions and shared actions? What one body invokes in another?

These performances are drawings, like Haitian Vodoun vévé—lines of cornmeal that mark the floor of ceremony. Vévé are how spirits enter the space; they are journey, possibility. What exactly is possible when body is our everything? How do we move through the world? What does our power look like?

the return (2007)
single-channel digital video
color, sound, :50

infinite return (bird on the sun) (2007)
single-channel digital video
color, sound, 7:03

You see these drawings. Sight is a feeling. Infiniphonic. Sonic and forever. And within that a drawing. And within that. And what if within that.