Montage Works for a Digital Wall Screen 2018-2019.
There is nothing new in creating cinematic images created as works of visual and conceptual art. Motion pictures fascinated traditionally trained artists from the beginning. Masters such as Fernand Leger, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp all experimented with this new medium. The Americans Stan Brakhage and Maya Deren created avant garde works well outside the mainstream of Hollywood epics. The ultimate avant garde film experience, Wavelength, by Michael Snow, perhaps the most radical work of art of the 20th Century, was produced by an artist working alone and without any visible means of establishment support. Today thousands work in this tradition, outside the economic support system while tens of millions are lavished on brand name painters, film directors, writers, and actors.
Technology has the potential to change all this. If Wavelength were released today , Michael Snow would hopefully be approached by a major art dealer offering to sell Wavelength as a large digital wall piece. The buyer of the work would be assured of the uniqueness of the work with blockchain encrypting. Michael Snow, like all the great painters of the past and present, would have the resources to produce even more breakthrough works without financial limitations.
Not that I compare myself with the names mentioned above, but I’ve been trying to create works, within the conventions of art photography and early films, designed as large screen displays for an architectural setting. Only in the past decade have cameras and editing equipment made producing high definition works affordable, something that is critical to anyone working within the conventions of art photography.
I first displayed one of my experimental videos on an early plasma screen in 1995. At the time they were expensive and required bulky playback equipment. That has all changed and the time has come for flat wall digital screens to replace paintings as the 2-D wall displayed art form of our time.
Five Minute Demos of Recent Montage Works:
The following two montage videos are less than 5 minutes and are designed to demonstrate my most recent experiments in creating digital paintings. Both are derived from longer works that can be viewed below. I also continue to produce minimalist works available elsewhere on this site.
Complete Digital Wall Paintings
New South/Old South, 2019, is a 4K single channel version of my digital wall painting work that looks at the American South. This version is in color and consists of three chapters; Romancing the Past, The New South, and Hate, Decay, and Faith. I consider this work the functional equivalent of an expressionist painting. I work alone without a budget in both the shooting and editing phases of the creation process, meaning I’m free to work without restraint, and without the onus of pandering to anyone’s expectations. Running time 14:08.
The South in Black and White (18 minute version) is the precursor to New South/Old South but without color, a throwback to my first career as an achromatic photographer. These videos are my attempt at portraying the cultural milieu that elected Donald Trump. His racist rants played well here. The contemporary South is changing but a residual fear of the other looms large in this varied and complex region. Created in 2018.
Dissolving Las Vegas is a montage work shot in Las Vegas Nevada between 2011 and 2016. I’m trying to create a digital wall painting that comments on the one American city I believe will be the model for first world urban development in the future. Dissolving Las Vegas was designed for repeated viewings. It's very dense video and music (by Bruce Hampton) lend themselves to, hopefully, a more meditative viewing experience than commercial media.
Both The South in Black and White and Dissolving Las Vegas are ideally viewed as a 3 channel video wall piece. Here is a video preview of what The South in Black and White would look like as a wall installation.
Here is the 3 screen demo for Dissolving Las Vegas.