INFORMATION GLADLY GIVEN BUT SAFETY REQUIRES AVOIDING UNNECESSARY CONVERSATION, 1995
I HUNG BACK, HELD FIRE, DANCED AND LIED, 1996
DARK CAVE, 1998
GIVE ME YOUR FUTURE, 1999
(This series also includes nine very short "interstitial" works.)
“We each have only one single life which is our real life, starting at the cradle and ending at the grave. I warn Dorothy every time I see her that if she doesn’t watch out her life is going to be left aching and starving on the side of the road and she’s going to get to her grave without it. The farther a man follows the rainbow, the harder it s for him to get back to the life which he left starving like an old dog.” -- Jane Bowles, “Plain Pleasures”
Third Known Nest is a collection of nine short works completed approximately one each year from 1991 to 1999. Interwoven by nine quotations from some of my favorite authors, the eighteen short entries in Third Known Nest function as an intimate visual diary – fractured pictures from my day-to-day life. I carried a super-8 camera with me whenever and wherever I traveled, and also at home -- just running errands or in the garden. I shot nearly a hundred fifty-foot reels of film.
Six of the pieces in Third Known Nest were shot on super-8, two on 16mm and one on mini-DV. With the exception of Nation, I edited them on an off-line ¾” editing system (cuts only) in order to elaborate an intricate, layered collage. Partially provoked by music video, each entry in the cycle of tapes pairs a literary touchstone with a song. They’re somewhere between formal experimental film montage and the bombardments of our noisy pop culture. Though individual works are distinct in tone, the overwhelming impact of the program is emotional, nostalgic. Above all else, Third Known Nest works as a gallery of portraits in flux – my self and the people I love: some living, some dead.
As a counterpoint to feature films, these short pieces are pure liberation, a cheap, fast escape into the joys of the camera and the edit. No scripts, no production meetings: heaven. I’ve long admired the art of Dadaist Kurt Schwitters, the audio recording of his Ursonate and most of all the visionary, life-sized Merzbau collage, which eventually threatened to engulf his home. Like many others of his time, he remained a nomad after the war. I hope Third Known Nest shares something with Schwitters’ graceful balancing act of “high art’ against ‘low culture’ – beauty in the gutter, bumping up against the flotsam and jetsam that clutters our world.