Date of Submission
Senior Project Artist Statement
“Disembodied Power” is a multimedia presentation involving video art and musical performance. The project explores the notion of achieving passive, non-physical power through the use of propaganda, illegal and prescription drugs, and spirituality and mysticism. In this sense “power” can refer to feeling a sense of power and control over ones own mind, as can be the case among drug users and religious people. In addition, one can achieve power over large populations through non-physical means through the use of propaganda, and so-called “media scare tactics,” as well as organized religion. The word “disembodied” works on multiple levels. On one hand, it can describe spiritual experience of religious people and practitioners of mysticism, who are attempting to communicate with a non-physical realm. In addition, “disembodied” can describe the out-of-body experience of people who use mind-altering substances. Finally, power over mass populations is in a sense disembodied, for it involves achieving control through the distribution of information and the power of ideas, both of which are types of non-physical influence.
My show is split into two parts, the first of which is a ten minute video piece assembled from found footage. Among the many sources is footage culled from religious propaganda, industrial pharmaceutical tapes and documentaries on the occult and mysticism. My intent is to juxtapose video and audio clips in such a way that I subvert the original messages, and create new meaning by combining what are apparently disparate ideas.
The second part of the show involves an electronic music performance with Bard alum Louis Arnos, in which we set up a large network of feedback loops involving guitar pedals and audio mixers, while processing musical samples which are fed into the feedback. The equipment is set up in such a way that we are both processing each other’s sounds, and neither performer can make a musical statement and expect it to come out sounding as he intended. Often it becomes difficult to determine who is generating what noises. In this sense there is a certain loss of control or power. The sounds are self-generated by the machines, and essentially play themselves. Therefore, as performers our job is simply to shape sounds which will exist regardless of our physical influence. Sound itself is a disembodied, intangible presence, especially that which is electronic and not generated by human hands. The live music will be performed over more video footage, and we will attempt to provide a sort of live soundtrack to a video that continues the ideas of the first half of the show.
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Clark, Timothy B., "Disembodied Power" (2011). Senior Projects Spring 2011. 113.
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