Date of Award

Summer 5-1-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

George Rivera

Second Advisor

Luis Valdovino

Third Advisor

Melinda Barlow

Abstract

Are You Still Recording? Is an experimental video installation that re-contextualizes an archive of home movies, including 16mm film, 8mm film, Super 8, video and sound recordings, as well as voicemail messages from my father and other natural and instrumental sounds. I am investigating the ways in which personal narrative can underscore the collective narrative through the format of experimental video, installation, and writing. I reference and examine ideas relating to memory, time, nature, recording, and notions of the collective. I am also interested in themes and relationships between home movie and ethnography, as well as notions of identity, materiality, subjectivity, and objectivity. I use this archive as the raw material to create an experimental video that is projected onto a front and rear projecting mirrored screen (8ft x 8ft hand built). The screen functions as a dual-sided fourth wall where the viewer can see the projection from both the interior and exterior of the installation. The experimental video utilizes family home movies spanning from 1952-2018. I investigate the lineage of amateur film makers and projectionists in my family, as well as create an abstract non-linear narrative that blurs the lines between private and public histories.

Through the use of layering voicemail messages from my father over an archive of home movie footage, I emphasize the relationships between these different but familiar modes of recording. The layering creates a new context for the image and sound to exist. I use light as a key element in the work to reveal and conceal certain fragments of the moving image. The process is painterly, sensorial, melancholic, meditative, familiar, and dream-like. The moving image and the sound generate tension by contrasting elements like repetition, scale, tone, texture, perspective, and time. In Are You Still Recording?, I examine the relationships we have with memory and experiences as well as the material and the immaterial, the real and the preformed, and the comedic and the tragic.

Are You Still Recording? layers multiple perspectives, times, directions and intentions in order to discuss how we understand reality through our history, our experiences and our memory.

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