Montage Video Works: Reacting to Nationalism

The middle is not holding. Madness and chaos have hijacked our democratic institutions. My response is a series of works using montage techniques that attempt to create complex but comprehensible wall videos that portray the rise of a virulent Christian Nationalism paired with an unrestrained capitalism that threaten our suddenly fragile democracy. These montage techniques are informed by the work of German photo collagist John Heartfield, Robert Rauschenberg, and the curiously poetic work of the commercial title filmmaker Patrick Clair (True Detective). These works are designed to reach a broader audience than my somewhat challenging minimalist works.

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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 New Urbanism: Looking at Las Vegas

These works comment on Las Vegas, the brightest city on the planet when viewed from space. Las Vegas, in my view, is the shape of cities to come, a hot undulating concrete strip of faux architecture mimicking fantasy destinations. This is capitalism on steroids, a place where all boredom is amused, all desires sated. Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night asked Jack Kerouac. To Las Vegas.

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Terror in the Radioactive Desert uses stock footage from the era of a-bomb testing as well as web footage from the recent concert massacre.

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Nothing exceeds like the excesses of Las Vegas, where classic buildings and monuments are transformed into a movie set like playground with promises of love and riches for all.

The South in Black and White: A Three Channel Work

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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.

Dissolving Las Vegas: Three Channel Work on the New Urbanism

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.