Color/BW Photocopy Collage on Sheet Plastic
Mixed Media on Canvas
This piece draws on the latent power within the illustrations of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. In the engravings, Alice is represented in service of Carroll's whimsical and omnipotent narrative, but outside this context, the imagery is surreal and even suggestive. Carroll's fascination with a real young girl named Alice is a myth that is as important to understanding the tale as the text itself, so to see these illustrations in relation to his fetish emphasizes the underlying distortions and fantasies represented.
In this take on Carroll's work, she is isolated and remixed within a contemporary Wonderland, characterized by the forces and stimuli that operate on and confront feminine purity and innocence, which she fully represents in the context of the original text. Freed from Carroll's tale, Alice gains new personality and asks you to employ a different vocabulary estimate her character.
The imagery that composes her environs and foes was color-copied from LIFE magazine's The World We Live In, a book called Beauty Design and several tabloids.
The Work of Mark Romanek (Palm Pictures, 2005): Music videos for Fiona Apple, "Criminal," Mick Jagger, "God Gave Me Everything," Beck, "Devil's Haircut," Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Can't Stop"
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
CCTV (Tuesday, March 20, 2007): Video rip of CCTV news hour from internet television feed
Kennedy Assassination: Video rip of Zapruder footage from YouTube
iTunes Visualizer: Video rip of iTunes visualizer for The Beatles, Abbey Road
FBI Copyright Warning
Touchstone Pictures, music from "The Snake" logo (1986-2002)
Fiona Apple, "Criminal"
Broken Social Scene, "7/4 (Shoreline)"
Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Can't Stop"
FC Kahuna, "Hayling"
Several years ago I received a compilation of mashups. The CD contained about 200 files, most badly notated, some high quality, others poor and less interesting. I remember feeling mixed emotions when I heard Beyonce paired with Jimi Hendrix. This was the first I ever encountered of the mashup genre and appropriative music making. It made so much sense to my ears, but utterly betrayed my musical taste. I got used to it, needless to say, and then loved it. The rest of the songs on the compilation both ignited my interest in music I had never paid attention to and introduced me to other songs I might have never heard otherwise. A less favorite mashup, but one that always catches my attention, is playing now on this wiki as you read. I selected this song, by Dsico, not because I love Pink - "Lets Get the Party Started" vs Dramarama - "Anything, Anything," but its title brings to mind what is often at the heart of the mashup: "Just Mix F*ing Anything." I have appropriated this title for my piece because I think it shares in this haphazard rip/mix spirit. The idea is not just to mix "f*ing" anything, because that could inevitably turn out like "cr*p," instead, the idea is to mix something for the sake of the process, and the product. We all do it, we're always watching and reading and looking and listening and regurgitating. "How's that for a bit of homespun philosophy?," says Stella to Jeffries in Rear Window. He knows where she stole it from: " Readers Digest, April 1939." Her retort, "Well, I only quote from the best," resonates with a process of appropriation that is practically organic. The "Just Mix F*ing Anything" calls for the nurturing of this element of human nature.
I have used the works of three directors I admire (Hitchcock, Lee, Romanek) in addition to other media in order to create a visual mashup over a musical mashup of similarly disparate genres. The works I chose came together naturally and are aligned in a manner consistent with the forces of attraction that emerged within the piece but are almost completely removed from their original context. I was able to strip the media bites from their respective origins using an A/V screen capture tool called "iShowU." This gave me a great deal of freedom in collecting and assembling without ever having to ask permission or consider the level of appropriateness. Speaking of "appropriateness," appropriate is the same word as appropriate. This highlights a challenge in appropriating works: How to make them appropriate within a new context. Resolving this challenge was the bulk of the exercise in the creation of my piece. I aimed to do so by creating harmony between visuals elements and between the visuals and the soundtrack. When Shannyn Sossamon begins to grove, she is no longer dancing to Mick Jagger, but instead to "7/4 (Shoreline)" by Broken Social Scene. Similarly, the final seconds which feature iTunes visualizer footage were originally invoked by songs from The Beatles' Abbey Road but flow over FC Kahuna's "Hayling" juuust right.
This project was, above all, an exercise in the creation of culture, a chance to flex the muscles of technology and the power of a moderately savvy computer user in the face of the big C, an attempt to ignore the rules and to make 4 minutes and 5 seconds of total irreverence.