Michael Lasater Gallery
 Passacaglia (2016)                                      single-channel video, stereo

Single-channel HD video, stereo: digitized archive film and photo, sampled sound, text, animation. Simulated gallery view, 3 min. sample of 10 min. loop.

In music, a passacaglia is a composition built on a constantly recurring bass line, an ostinato, usually in triple meter. My gallery composition Passacaglia derives from this musical strategy in both the video and the audio. The mechanical visual elements work against one another in algorithmic counterpoint, voice against voice. The same protocol drives the audio, in effect mirroring the video. A color abstract overlays the entire piece, driven by the foundation video ostinato. The three rotating text elements are excerpts from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 Chicago speech on social and industrial justice. His theme –– a decent minimum wage, decent working conditions, accommodation to a new economic model increasingly centered on industry and technology –– could be delivered today with only minor changes. His subject was and is a cultural ostinato from which our American political passacaglia continually derives.