A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable (2011)
Your videos seem to borrow aspects from narrative filmmaking, the documentary format, amateur travelogues, and even at times experimental cinema. What genre(s) of filmmaking do you see yourself following or challenging?
Well, I don’t really see my videos as being film. One time I tweeted that as an artist I would never let my video work get transferred to film because too much would be lost. It was a joke, but I’m also serious. I mean, it’s hard not to be suspicious of a discipline that has a genre called “experimental.”
From the perspective of how the work is displayed, I feel my videos are not for the cinema. The movie theater flattens space and immobilizes the viewer. I like that people have to stand in a gallery, that they enter and leave the video at random times.
This is quite hypothetical, however, because in practice, most of my work is viewed online, where the artist has even less control.
In your videos you pull images and clips from a variety of sources including Google Street View, web-based image searches, and your own self-shot footage. Your videos range from twenty to thirty minutes in length. How do you structure this footage with the essays that make up your screenplay? How long does it take you to finish a video?
For Christmas my sister gave me an image from a brain scan she took of a human hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for short- and long-term memory and spatial navigation. The hippocampus looks like a sea horse and its etymology reflects this. The functions of the hippocampus intrigue me.
During the making of A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable I researched each location extensively ...