Michael Lasater Gallery
 Five Modernist Essays  (1998)                   single-channel video, stereo

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Digitized archive film, synthesized music, animation

A temporal montage in video, animation and music reconsidering Ivens' Rain (1929) and Ruttmann's Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927). Via Vertov, the piece suggests again the idea of film as a means of perception, memory, and interpretation grounded in its own reality.

I often use narrative and visual materials as motifs or elements in time structures suggested by strategies in musical composition, a method of working that has existed in experimental film art since the 1920's. I composed the music for Five Modernist Essays using a tone row from Webern's Op. 24 Konzert, building on the internal, reiterated three-note structure of the row. In the video, visual motifs likewise occur in groups of three, layered in clusters or overlapped in linear development. Both the music and the video are structured by means of sequence, reiteration, and imitation--the most conservative of compositional devices.