Microswarm Patchwalk on Vimeo
1920 x 1080 pixels / stereo sound
Krowswork, Oakland, California, August 2016
Second Sight: Christina McPhee, Cerritos College Art Gallery, greater Los Angeles, California, September-November 2016
The artist transcribes a beach walk wearing a post-surgical eye patch. She "...rescales the technologic event to my own retina, after surgery...a site being at the retinal level, inside the eye, then the eye is patched because the retina is hurt, orn and damaged. A walk on the beach while semi-blindfolded. Sight and sightlessness collide. Tat the beach, the film offers a visual and sonic field of imaginary numbers, rising from the ocean's edge"... (artist interview, Digitcult, forthcoming 2017).
The video is cut to a new recording of performance by Quinn Dougherty, of her recent drawn score for electronic guitar and computer, Microswarm One. At dusk on the Pacific, waves of electronic feedback emulate ocean sounds at depth. Walking the strand, fragments of a drawn score fly by. From tight enclaves to cascades, swarming birds, numerals, footfalls and fragments patch layers and reveals. Stretching and streaming clusters of sonic and visual data frame footfalls at the edge of invisible marine abundance and stress. The video as performance and as post-production artifact, questions the act of seeing as a consequence of movement along a lone line, the strand.
Videomontage, as curator James MacDevitt observes, "invokes a post-surgical walk down an empty beach, seen through the damaged, but recovering, eye of the artist herself, cut (interspersed and interlaced) by flashes of various coded systems, including previous drawings, remediated by the voracious hunger of the video camera. Instead of the Kantian eye of the connoisseur...here the viewer experiences the world through the artist’s discognitive eye. Discognition does not here imply lack of thought, just the opposite, in fact, but it does link thought, as an ongoing exchange, directly to the flesh-of-the-world... McPhee has participated in her own curative cut, establishing a reciprocal link with the collective unconscious, a feedback built on lucrative production, rather than phallocentric lack. Hers is not a disinterested eye, but a distracted one, connected to a mind as generative as the world it regards. And such a mind inevitably finds solace and rejuvenation in a discognitive place of repetitive, but also creative, inscription; a (common-)place that is not so common, a place that can never be (just) one." (James MacDevitt, "Pattern Discognition," in the forthcoming Christina McPhee: A Commonplace Book, Punctum Books, 2017).
moving image: Christina McPhee
music performance: Quinn Dougherty
sound design: Christina McPhee