Mortal Treasures (2010)
This 18 minute video was created from footage captured on Christmas, 2009 at my family home in Pennington, NJ.
I separately asked the members of my family to each select a few small things from around the house. I put these objects in a specially-prepared box with a video camera sticking down through the top and holes cut for hands. I then asked each member of my family (and myself) to talk about the objects, which they could only see on the video camera's screen.
The footage was edited to reflect my interest in consciousness, memory, storytelling, vocal tone, how language is processed, the way value is assigned to physical objects, gesture, nature vs nurture, and family relationships. The resulting video, which bears the traces of the digital editing process, becomes both a portrait of my family and a self portrait.
The video is installed in a custom designed display system; the viewer must put her hands into glowing blue hand-holes for the video to play. As the video consists mainly of shots of hands, I hope there is a slight blurring in the viewer's body identification schema which enables her to become more highly involved.
Self Archeology (2006)
In the spring of 2006 I was helping my family do some gardening in the backyard. We had been collecting compost in a pile in the woods for a long time, and I was digging though it and sifting out the rocks and nonbiodegradable rubbish.
While sifting, I found a lot of items from when I was a kid that had been sucked up into the lawnmower or raked into leaf piles.
I then documented this an archeological record of my own past. The limited focal field of the scanner calls attention to the nature of the digital archive.