What About Me? Screening, Topanga Canyon

This was shot during the Ambient Soundscapes performance by Deprogramming Division prior to Jaya Vaswani and Rich Ferguson’s performances at the “What About Me?” screening in Topanga, part of this weekend’s Topanga Film Festival.

The audio from the sequential clips was extracted and assembled into a single continuous loop rather than having each 10 second sound clip loop simultaneously.

Friday, August 7, 2009, 8PM
Trust Ranch
1291 Will Geer Road
Topanga, CA

Bergamot Station Art Openings March 14, 2009

William Turner Gallery
Greg Miller

HollyWood, mixed media and oil on canvas, 6’x16′
The Calm, mixed media on canvas, 45″x70″

I believe that may be Greg in the leather jacket at the right.

James Gray Gallery Stairway

(Perhaps if you squint a little you might get a rather weird stereo effect)

James Gray Gallery Interior

John Asaro Exhibition

John Asaro Rotating Painting (not a collage, obviously)

Joshua Tree Keys View Sunset

The following collages were shot the final day of the High Desert Test Sites events. It was so cold and windy that the batteries in my camera kept freezing and I had to keep changing them, which isn’t what you expect from that part of the desert.

Joshua Tree Keys View Sunset 1

November 9, 2008

Joshua Tree Keys View Sunset 2

Sunburst and 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree (in process – incomplete)

I expect to composite these videos with still images to show more coverage of the intersection, but I didn’t really get the coverage I wanted in either medium..

The finished collage with music by Teddy Quinn

Others with similar ideas

Well, it’s nice to think you’ve made a discovery and have run off into new territory by yourself, but I’ve discovered there are quite a few others tredding this same area. Hockney actually tried this technique with the BBC, but they weren’t too excited by it, and he abandoned it. 

It’s sort of like when I was hiking up in the remote mountains and thought I was someplace where no one had been before, and then I found some plastic trash in the bushes.

I suppose that’s no reason to abandon the experiments; perhaps it could be more interesting to pursue them within a community of like-minded artists?

A couple of these artists are doing really nice work. I especially like Matt Ziniel and Lester Alfonso’s stuff.

Matt Ziniel:

Lester Alfonso aka OriginalPlastic:

Will Parker


Edward Grubb aka vjgumbo:

Cubist Video Montage


(without Hockney and Picasso)


aka seanankerr:

Me by Hockney


“Me” by Hockney

Spring Equinox at the Malibu Wright Ranch

OK, this has taken forever to get to because these are the most complex assortment of clips I’ve shot. Furthermore, after I shot them, I was told people didn’t want them posted because it was a personal and private ceremony. Well, with some regrets, I can’t help myself. I also haven’t figured out the best presentation for the “sensitive” material, so it’s just a composite grid of the ceremony, and you can’t really hear any thing except the chant we all did. It’s enormous too; an unwieldy 58MB. Keep in mind that at actual size, the widest ones here are nearly 3-1/2 feet wide. That’s as big as Flash can handle; 2880 pixels square.

Fortunately, some of the others are quite breathtaking and not nearly as huge.

Indian Spring Equinox Ceremony

SpringEquinoxCeremony Click on image to load 58.1MB file.

Malibu Canyon Sunset

Malibu Canyon SunsetClick on image to load 3.5MB file.

On Top of the World Over Malibu Canyon

On Top Of The WorldClick on image to load 9.8MB file.

Malibu Coast at Dusk

Malibu Coast Dusk

Click on image to load 15.4MB file.

Malibu Coast View

Malibu Coast ViewClick on image to load 3.6MB file.

Malibu Shores

Malibu ShoresClick on image to load 2.2MB file.

Taking photos of the Malibu Coast

Taking Photos of the CoastClick on image to load 12MB file.

Santa Monica Night Coast

SM Night ViewClick on image to load 11.5MB file.

Wright Ranch HouseI find this one to be rather interesting; it has more cubist character than most of the other works. It’s a house they’re building that’s been under construction forever.Wright Ranch House

Click on image to load 5.8MB file.

Mt. Pinos 3 Row Torqued Panorama

Well, this proves that without much activity happening when you shoot video, you might as well be shooting stills. As I assembled the video clips, I began to realize that the lens and tripod were distorting the images so they didn’t fit together. I could actually skew the video itself, which would probably take forever to process, but it was just as interesting to layer and overlap them.

Mt. Pinos is an amazing place. The highest mountain in the range at the southern edge of California’s Central Valley, just outside of Frazier Park, you can’t help be be deeply moved by the views, the peacefulness of the place (in good weather, at least) — or the high altitude!

Japanese Garden’s Running Brook

Some new video collages here. These were shot at the beautiful Japanese Garden next to the (ugh!) DWP water reclamation plant in Balboa Park in Van Nuys.

The first is more of an experimental mandala-esque view of the brook.

Running Brook 1

The second is just a longer view of the brook in a simpler form.

Running Brook 2

I guess I need to either;

1) get a cable release for the camera, if I can control the video button with it


2) spend the time to trim the small shakes that happen when I start and stop the camera

They seem to quake and vibrate, like the earth in California, or perhaps to breathe…

The park is near two airports too, so you hear the planes drown out the running water in the first one.

Kevin at MASH TV Filming Site

This video collage was shot at the MASH TV filming site north of Malibu. Long before the fires were a gleam in DWP’s eye.

To view this effectively in YouTube, you need to drag your browser window very wide – wider than your monitor – and scroll back and forth or move the window to view the different parts of it. The wider you make it, the taller the vertical display area will become. The embedded version above should properly resize to your fullscreen however.

Cubist Arthur

YouTube blocks that video so you can watch the original 35MB flash version here
This clip has not yet been rated.

A therapist I know assured me this concludes that I’m certifiable.

In reference to the work, I’d like to quote Steven Soderbergh’s film, Sex, Lies, and Videotape; “All I could think about this past weekend was garbage, literally garbage. I started obsessing over what happens to all the garbage, I mean, what happens to all of it, we have to run out of space eventually, don’t we? This happened to me before when that barge with all the garbage was stranded, because nobody would accept it. I don’t know what started it this time.” The context of that statement in his film is not unlike that of this piece.

Intimacy, Attention, Commodification, and Privatization

It’s often said that most people are more willing to talk about their sex lives than money, but I’d venture that an even more private part of their lives might be their morning grooming routine. Often not fully awake, your attention is directed to various bodily minutia in a self-critical or narcissistic manner. What better way to convey the mental state and way of seeing than through cubism?

I initially chose the music because the upbeat part of the song was running through my head; “Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head…” but once I’d laid the sound in, I found it gave the piece a much darker overtone, and am not entirely sure I’m content with the marriage of sound and image. Combining works by different artists offers the danger of either piece overshadowing the other, contextually or qualitatively, and the intention of the Beatles lyrics catapulted the piece into a wholly different realm of interpretation. Would I blow my mind out in a car? Filmic expectation leads you to expect that something will happen with that razor. Hitchcock and Spielberg have left us with dark expectations when razors are shown on screen. Perhaps the only other realm of our lives where the intimacy of grooming is violated is in advertising. By association, wrapped in a robe or towel and vulnerable, you may be subconsciously susceptible to suggestion. Viewing this, you might be led to expect a product recommendation, but I’m afraid you won’t find one. The mundane becomes surreal, and then the surreal becomes mundane again.

This overly revealing cubist video collage of me includes flossing, brushing, shaving, moisturizing, brushing, kissing, zipping, my tongue, fingers, navel, and sitali pranayam. Not to mention The Beatles, A Day in the Life.

It’s long; 10 minutes, though this is a 4 minute excerpt. If you can sit through it all, the zippers begin and end the whole deal, and you’ll hear the music loop then. Flash can’t seem to quite manage playing all the clips at full speed.