Under The Dryer (a project prepared for my Media Mavericks class) is an exploration into media perceptions of beauty and African-American hair. A variety of young, black females talk about their experiences revolving around their hair in juxtaposition to images that depict common and accepted ideas of beauty; This sharp contrast simultaneously shows parallels between the “ideal type” of Westernized beauty to African-American culture, even within an exclusionary social system. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVGjgnLLZkE
new york aquarium.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRHR84M_W80
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9GrkOu6hiQ intended to be projected on three walls of room plus floor and ceiling. rough edit, need to rework in after effects- i want the endoscopy to be much more abstract.two videos are found footage of an endoscopy (sorry, its graphic), and a man getting caught in an avalanche with a camera on his helmet (he survived).relates to word inquiline in that we are all just simple components of this giant, massive organism that is new york city. insignificance and claustrophobia.
In an age in which corrugated cardboard is the material of choice to build temporary housing for goods on their way to consumers, often to be reused by those who lost their way, to build a home, it was used on April 6 and 7th, 2009 A.D., to rebuild old Rome anew within the confines of Mannahatta, island of many hills. The rebuilding of Rome evolved in the second box of the seven that make the New Museum of Contemporary Art on the new Bowery, the foudroyantly new cultural capital of NYC.
Immigrants, and ancestors of immigrants and various diasporas joined hands to reenact old Rome’s architectural development. The builders crammed the time span from Romulus’ and Remus’ days to the destruction of the city, several centuries later, into 24 hours, and half a gallery. Tape, hot glue, various scales and levels of accuracy were applied by Gabriel, Seung, Lisa, Steven, Katherine, Dylan, Matt, Nayeema, Sam, Mariechen, myself, and several others, under the soft-spoken guidance of LA artist Liz Glynn.
Timed to coincide with the opening of the “The Generational: Younger than Jesus” exhibit, a Katrina of self-appointed Visigoths, Christians and pagan Godzillas gleefully razed this recreation in two minutes flat… Gone again were the Forum, the Coliseum, the Temple of Saturn and those dedicated to other gods of Roman lore, and the arches honoring dead emperors as idols. Gone again was old St. Peter.
Gone again… to be rebuilt, again? To be rebuilt elsewhere? Again, by inquilines?
This was inspired by Hollis Frampton’s film (nostalgia), though much simpler. When I thought about what New York means to me, I thought about all of the rooms I have inhabited over the past three years, spaces which have meant the most to me, regardless of the experiences I’ve had there. Being somewhat reclusive, I develop relationships with rooms which are often more emotionally gratifying than the superficial (or should I say “exterior”) relationships with people. I have moved many times since the age of 11, have had several rooms, all with their own personalities and energy. As you might gather from the film, I feel very ambivalent about some of them (#1), very negative about others (#2), and very comforted by the place I live now.
Like Frampton, I am, in a sense, burning all of my old memories of these rooms by revisting them, perhaps for the last time, and thus getting a kind of closure. Maybe this kind of psychological closure is the only physical way to find true comfort within a space– in retrospect once you’ve left and moved on. As far as inquiline goes, all of my rooms, especially in New York, have felt temporary because there is a constant knowledge that I will be moving on soon. I become bored and agitated with rooms, and eventually we have to break-up and I have to start fresh. There is little I like more than moving and re-nesting. In many ways, I have always felt like there is a symbiotic relationship between me and rooms: the rooms must have an occupant to become a living space, and I must have a room in order to live myself.
I wanted to film this and comment on it from a very detached place, because some of these rooms no longer belong to me. I felt rather voyeuristic filming them, capturing them like they once captured me. It’s interesting to be on the exterior side looking into places where I once existed in the ultimate interiority, looking out.I eliminated the sound of the street for two reasons: 1) the silence, or static, in between vocalizations feels more appropriate in terms of detachment; the sounds of the street felt too present and lively. 2) not only is the static/voice over combination recorded sound, the combination has a rather radiophonic quality, and effect I wanted to create, as this is representative of a kind of disembodiement, an acousmetric voice, in this case belonging to the images of the apartments rather than to a person. The static is literally a kind of “dead air”.Gregory Whitehead, a radio artist, has a fantastic quote, which I think can relate to this film:
“When I turn my radio on, I hear a whole chorus of death rattles; […] from voices that have been severed from the body for so long that no one can remember who they belong to, or whether they belong to anybody at all”
My body has been “severed” from these rooms for so long that they no longer belong to me, and my voice’s disembodied quality inexorably belonging to the voice-over, which in this case represents a body, which once belonged to these rooms, but now only exists as a detached voice which only exists in the dead air of the static. I will end this section with a quote by Alexandra L.M. Keller on white noise (this kind of static) and how what it contains is the interminablevoices of the dead:
“When they [the dead] come back to haunt us, they are unloading all of those afterthoughts that have accumulated in the afterworld”.
I, dead to these rooms, revisited them, and now in my film I am speaking the words to them that I’ve been able to vocalize in retrospect, in the “afterworld” of moving on.
This piece was originally a text which I modified to better fit vocalization (although I really dislike the sound of my voice, as it feels alienated from me, as it should being “disembodied” and all).
It can be viewed here: http://hroivas.blogspot.com/2008/12/night-room.html
The visual definition for inquiline was over the top creative. Kudos to the creator. Her lease on life is strong and vibrant.
Here are some unusual words that begin with the letter I. I painted this watercolor during a cold two weeks in a cabin in the woods at the MacDowell Colony reading the whole dictionary. When I started to think about which one would be right for Abecedarium:NYC, it seemed logical to choose a word that spoke to the experience of living in a home that simultaneously “yours” and someone else’s, namely a landlord. Inquiline fit the bill. It’s really a zoological term we transposed to the the life of a city dweller. Watch Beth Botshon’s video and see what I mean. Which word would you have chosen?