MichaelLasaterStatement

 

     Most of my work is centered on issues and processes of perception, memory, personal narrative, and the construction of meaning over time.  I'm interested in who and what we are, both personally and culturally, especially as a result of choices we make in the process of self-definition.  I'm equally interested in issues of perception, definition, and expression in art; I'm interested in vocabulary, structure, technique, and methods.

     The majority of my pieces, such as Flight, In tempo, Passing Figure, and
One, two deal with the construction of meaning and personal narrative from biographical sources.  Others, such as Epiphany, Signs and Wonders, and Billboard, are concerned with political and mass media discourse as social narrative text.  Some pieces--Act II, Crawl, Five Modernist Essays,
Solving for X
-- are about art.

     I work with any number of elements--video, sampled and synthesized sound and music, photography, film, painting, text--anything digital or that can be digitized.  Many of my gallery pieces are video/animation/sound objects meant to be encountered in the same sense and mode in which one encounters traditional gallery media such as painting or sculpture.  I often use video, a time-medium, to isolate, freeze, and explore a subject, event, or moment in time.  A musician, I tend to build time-structures in reference to strategies and techniques, such as counterpoint, employed in musical composition.

     Dziga Vertov (film), Anton Webern (music), and Gerhard Richter (painting) are representative of artists who have had a significant influence on my work.  Vertov's ethos in his declaration I am cinema-eye, I am camera-eye, his development of film as a separate reality, nearly an alternative consciousness, have influenced my conception of media composition as a self-referencing language, much like music.  Webern's serial work, in which every note is a planet, every movement a universe, suggests to me strategies for the composition of time-forms or time-objects in which the elements of new media are organized within traditional formal structures. I am enormously attracted to the work of Gerhard Richter, who often bases his art on photographs and other preexisting sources, and whose technique includes the ability to control radically different vocabularies, sometimes within the same frame.