Featured Artist: Lynn Marie Kirby
Study in Choreography for Camera Remote
Latent Light Excavations 2003-2010
Karate Class Exposure Part 1: The Space Itself (silent), Part
3: Second Star Kata,
Points of Contact
Listening to Letters
Time Dilations, 1999 - 2003
The Time Dilation series works in the slippage
between and through frames, the gaps and glitches between recording
systems and histories. Each manifestation of digital break-up is
evidence of technology’s
material fragility as well as an articulation of the content. Concerned
with a temporality determined by the "in-time-ness" of
things, rather than drama or characters, this series of videos
captures the cyclical and circular nature of life as it unfolds
in both domestic and geographic sites.
Photons in Paris: image encoding 3, and 4 are part of a larger series
of Photon pieces from the Time Dilations, these take place in the home.
These videos play with the material space between the pixel break up
and the parquet pattern on the floor. These are improvisations, with
my son and the digital equipment, light and paper, through live editing.
Study in Choreography for Camera Remote
In 2000 when we returned to the Bay Area I began a year-long project
in which I recorded my daily sweeping after breakfast, this is a seven
day excerpt. I think of this piece as a collaboration across time with
Maya Daren and her film, Study in Choreography for Camera from 1945.
I too am thinking about the space of dance, movement and time. I used
the camera remote and the record deck remote to dance with the daily
Latent Light Excavations, 2003- 2010
After returning to the States, I began again to work with the American
landscape. The Latent Light Site Excavation Series is a continuation
of my interest in American history and its residue in the landscape.
I am fascinated by how sites carry traces of their history, but also
act as reservoirs of memory, as virtual sites. Each final projection
in the archive is a document of the landscape itself, a slice through
time to what lies below the visible, an archive and critique of what
it means to be an American.
For this series, I use a hybrid process, employing both 16mm film and
digitization systems to excavate the invisible history of American landscapes
and to reconsider and make visible media technology, here the transfer
process of film to digital. I exposed, 16mm raw film stock without a
camera. This exposure encodes on the film both the
light of the site and the performance of a gesture. Next, the developed
film is used as source material for an improvisation on a film to digital
transfer/encoding deck, using the film material like a chart or thematic
framework on which to improvise.
The material aspects of the film source medium are revealed through
usually hidden, unintended and unwanted artifacts: dust, scratches, hole
punches, head and tail leader information. Uniquely digital artifacts,
similarly usually unwanted in the transfer process are also introduced.
These American sites are chosen for their complex histories. The sites
of exposure may have a personal history or intersect my interest in the
American vernacular and history, and the history of cinema and media
making. The works function at times as memorial gestures or homages and
at times as celebrations or critiques.
This series eventually expanded to include exposures at international
sites, including Lebanon, Rwanda and the Jordan staircase in St. Petersburg
Karate Class Exposure: three variations (silent/ sound)
First made as part of an evening of video and performance with Harrell
Fletcher, who had been a student at CCA, my son James and his karate
teacher. The material was gathered at my son’s karate school. The
video it is comprised of three sections.
Part 1: the space itself (silent) and Part 3: second star kata (sound)
exposed two rolls of 16mm film with out a camera to the light of
class. One roll was exposed to the general light and space of the Karate
One dojo and the other was exposed while James was practicing his second
star form with his teacher Sensai Shanas. In part 1, I work with the
framing of karate practice through the blue dojo mat to focus on questions
of framing in film and digital media. In part 3, I use the star icon
inside the transfer machine to mediate on James’ star form. I commissioned
Alex Lukas, a San Francisco sound artist and former graduate student
at CCA, to do one of his sound rubbings of the dojo, which is the
sound of Second Star Form.
Part 2: Points of Contact (sound) (Motion Studies after Muybridge)
this section, I recorded a series of kicks like those James did
in the dojo on the day that Harrell and I shot. Instead of using video
as the recording medium, we used ink and paper. The paper recorded the
energy of the kicks. I scanned the kick records into the computer and
placed them along side the sound recorded in the dojo. I wanted to bring
attention to the focus and discipline that karate practice had for James.
By scratching the record of the kicks, I attempt to bring out this sense
of attention and the supportive and challenging relationship that he
had with his teacher Sensai Shanas. These studies of a boy in motion
were inspired by Muybridge’s early still photograph motion studies
of athletes. Where Muybridge decomposed the motion of an athletic
gesture into multiple still images, I begin with a single image,
the kick impact, and reconstruct the gesture.
Requiescat, a prayer or a wish for the repose of a person, here
for a person killed in Iraq.
I scratched into a 100 Ft roll of film an “X” for
a person killed in Iraq. I scratched until the roll was filled. In transferring
the film to digital video I again thought of those killed in
Iraq. This time I was not etching an "X" into the film
emulsion for each death, but punching the transfer machine each
time I saw an "X" pass in real time, changing the “X” from
positive to negative. This new gesture marks each death anew with
a skip or glitch in the transfer process.
Listening to Letters
Listening. It brings quiet into the frenetic noise of our time by pausing
to focus on what we hear
In 2009 I began a listening practice, paying attention to the sounds
of sites. Not wanting to use sound recording technology or make field
recordings, I began by taking sound notes as a way of being attentive
to encounters that resonate through the audible.
I started by listening carefully to the day. I listened to each hour
of the day for a week until, after twenty-four weeks, all twenty-four
hours were carefully paid attention to. I listened to the alphabet, the
history of the sounds of vowels and consonants, how these sounds became
marks then letters. Using the frame of a workday to structure listing
in a domestic space, I listened in a house for eight-hours. I invited
a friend to listen with me. We took our listening notes and performed
them with an American Sign Language interpreter in the home where we
had originally listened and created another moment of listening.
Listening continued in Art in Storefronts, the 24th Street Promenade
sponsored by Triple Base Gallery and the City of San Francisco. After
listening myself, I invited the public to listen with me in sites along
24th Street: the 7th Day Adventist Church, the Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting
House, Center Nail Salon, the Brava Theater, St Francis Fountain and
Garfield Park. Together we took notes. I put the listening notes from
these sites into the forms found at the original sites: church programs,
pamphlets, price lists, theater announcements, menus, and park signs.
I also made documents of the listening experience for each of the listeners.
I was recently was part of the San Francisco/ Shanghai Sister City Exchange,
I traveled to Shanghai to listen. Once in Shanghai I asked people I met
to show me their city and to listen with me. We listened together at
thirteen sites: in public parks, around tables in homes, in cafes and
restaurants, to dance performances, during reflexology treatments and
in schools. These listening documents were recently in a show in San
Francisco and will travel to Shanghai.
Tonight I will perform Listening
to Letters with ASL interpreter Jesada