Parallel dimensions, dystopic visions, and haunting noise. Lower the lights, turn up the sound.
Part short film, part game, and part video installation, 8 places you in the middle of a spherical video environment where physically moving the screen reveals events unfolding and repeating around you. Each of the 24 scenes has been designed as a loop, suspending space and time and inviting exploration. Users can navigate between scenes by simply tapping the screen and a series of navigation symbols can be used to learn patterns of movement through the maze of scenes, without a real beginning or end.
Made by Stephen Slappe
Software by Jacob Fennell (Panda Parallax software engine)
Sound elements by Bryson Hansen
Graphic design by Nate Preston
Post-production by David McCutchen
Actors are Emily Galash, Dane Overton, Alicia Gordon, Rebecca Carlisle-Healy, Robert Burns, Zoe Bullock, Joe Noreen, Rachael Jensen
Supported by the following organizations:
The Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
Funded by a generous grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, OR
Purchase or download the book here.
From Publication Studio's website:
"Stephen Slappe's book, People I Used To Know began as a file of archived pictures on Slappe's computer desktop. Slappe archived these photos since 2005, pulling them from social networking websites. He has manipulated these photos with algorithmically generated patterns to erase the faces and skin and leave only kitchens, yards, living rooms, clothes and a bit of mystery. Stephen Slappe has paired these photos with short phrases that describe his memories of these people."
This video was made for a group show entitled Remembering Is Everything curated by Bean Gilsdorf and A. Will Brown for Alter Space in San Francisco.
"Remembering is Everything features commissioned works by six American artists. In the fall of 2012, all of the artists were shown an original video created by the curators as a prompt to memory. Then, each was asked to formulate a response using the video’s structure and elements to create works that centered on their remembrances. The artists were asked to consider the video as they would any other witnessed event; and after they viewed the video, it was destroyed. This experimental exhibition was inspired in part by the 2011 New York Times bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein. In this book, author Joshua Foer asserts three points that connect memory directly to the production of art:
In fact, Foer summarizes his findings in the book’s epilogue by stating, “How we perceive the world and how we act in it are products of how and what we remember. We’re all just a bundle of habits shaped by memories… No lasting joke, invention, insight, or work of art was ever produced by an external memory.” The works in this exhibition span a wide range of media from painting to performance, reflecting the artists’ interests in memory, perception, narrative, and representation.
Remembering is Everything includes work by artists Yayoi Asoma (New York), David Kasprzak (San Francisco), Kate Nartker (San Francisco), Nancy Nowacek (New York), Melody Owen (Portland, OR), and Stephen Slappe (Portland, OR). This exhibition was collaboratively curated by Bean Gilsdorf and A. Will Brown."
View this video as a loop here.
The meeting of man and machine on the lonely back roads of the American West.
Actor: Jason Powell
Car Owner: David Lewin
Sound Editing: Noah Davis
Equipment Support: Rose Bond
General Support: 2009 version- Terri Hopkins and Peter Qualliotine at The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, 2010 version- Cris Moss and Disjecta
Visit the website: WelcometotheLegion.org
We Are Legion was created for Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art Festival. The project is ongoing so feel free to submit your photographs through the website.
From the TBA:09 catalog:
"Stephen Slappe creates a never-ending army of costumed youth in a web project that mines your photo albums for evidence of what the artist calls 'contemporary cultural indoctrination.' For TBA, Slappe will set up stations, online and in person, in order to collect images of you and yours in Halloween garb. He will string these images together into a scrolling defense line of masked society. We Are Legion addresses personal history and pop culture nostalgia, and plays with the technological innovations that allow for rapid sharing of personal images. Slappe's work blends humor, absurdity, and anxiety in order to reflect upon notions of home, transience, and physical and psychological escape."
PICA's Visual Art Program Director, Kristan Kennedy, interviewed me about the project. The interview was included in a printed catalog and is also available online.
Financial Support: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
Programming: Jacob Peter Fennell
Volunteers for TBA:09: Leah Kiczula, Nicole Milchak, Tesar Freeman, Claire LaMont, Nicole Smith, Mattie Ecklund, Rainbow Ross, Jason Powell, Tamar Monhait, Thomas Wheeler-Castillo, Sylvie Spencer
Thanks to everyone who contributed images before, during, and after TBA:09.
I was asked to be in a one-day exhibition called Open House by Portland artists Michele Ross and Karl Burkheimer. They invited a group of artists to temporarily takeover some portion of a house that was between owners. I chose a dark, hidden space in the basement beneath the stairs. The door to the space was wedged so that it was open just a crack, enough for sound to travel out but requiring viewers to look into the space with one eye.
Shelter In Place combines video, sound, and sculpture to tell the odd story of two teenagers in Appalachia in the mid-1980s. The characters are victims of a culture of fear: The Cold War, chemical leaks, and lower middle class malaise. Despite their geographical isolation, the two teens discover a miraculous method of sharing subcultural information in a pre-internet era that eventually leads to unexpected transcendence.
Shelter In Place was created for a solo exhibition at the New American Art Union in Portland, Oregon in May 2009. The work was generously supported by a Couture Award from Ruth Ann Brown and a Project Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Portland.
A single channel version of Shelter In Place was completed in 2010.
Financial Support: Ruth Ann Brown and The New American Art Union (NAAU)
Financial Support: The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC)
Archival Footage: The West Virginia State Archives
Actors: Emily Galash and Peter Burr
Compositing: Christopher Huizar
Sound Editing: Noah Davis
Cinematography: Ric Lanciotti
Production Photography: Sarah Meadows
Lighting: Dan Ackerman
Satellite Model Design: Jubal Nance
Bomb Drop Flyer Drawing: Dave Neeson
Installation Photography: Dan Kvitka
Assistance, Advice, and General Support: Samantha Wall, Dan Gilsdorf, Bean Gilsdorf, Derek Franklin, Dick Fauss, Peter Kreider, Charlie Votruba, Tesar Freeman, Claire LaMont, Missy Canez, Kevin Tinnell
All of my home addresses + Google Street View
Google's Street View technology allowed me to travel to all of my current and former home addresses in a short amount of time. Due to some of the obscure places I've called home, it surprised and alarmed me to find every address readily visible. The format of the video reflects a roving eye-in-the-sky, dipping down to focus briefly on a single residence before traveling back up and landing two thousand miles away in a matter of seconds.
I made a series of animated video collage loops drawing from 1980s the hardcore punk iconography of my youth. Most of them weren't very good but this one was worth saving because it features all three crucial elements-- Reagan, skulls, and mushroom clouds. During the last decade, there has been a surge in Ronald Reagan nostalgia in America so I'm happy to remind people of the president who ignored the AIDS crisis among other crimes against humanity.
Trickle Down was shown as part of The World is Not Ending, Your World is Ending, curated by Sean Joseph Patrick Carney for Gallery Homeland in Portland, OR.
Cul-de-sac traps the audience in a never-ending cycle of predator and prey using familiar tropes from vampire and horror films. The first screen contains a montage of vampires lunging, chasing, and biting directly at the camera. The middle screen is two-sided, one side contains images of people running away from the camera and the flip side contains images of people running toward the camera. Lastly, the fourth screen contains images of sunsets and sunrises, absent of any logical temporal relationship. The sound has two distinct elements: audio from vampire films and footsteps combined with occasional screams.
Cul-de-sac was installed at Worksound Gallery in 2008 as part of a group show entitled Volume.
Endless Supply of Vampire Films: Movie Madness
Equipment Support: Dan Gilsdorf
Construction Crew: Charlie Votruba and Dave Neeson
Installation Photography: Dan Kvitka
Increasing In Significance conveys four simultaneous acts of humorous desperation. These dizzying, repetitive sequences are drawn from disparate sources of inspiration: Johannes Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion and Buster Keaton's slapstick films. Exploiting the illusionism of relative motion, the videos capture the necessity of taking action while revealing its ultimate futility.
Increasing In Significance exists as both a four-channel installation and a single-channel video.
Rotating Camera: Dan Gilsdorf
"The sleep of reason produces monsters." -Francisco de Goya
Chain Reaction relies on the tension created by two oppositional forces. In this case, those forces are fear and pity. Born out of a Sci-Fi film archetype, a giant scientist looms menacingly overhead. His inquisitive gaze is cast both on the audience and his two test subjects. The subjects are smaller than life-size and trapped in a pair of tubes, looking upward and continually calling out "Hello?" The strange scientific experiment moves continually forward, reaching a crescendo yet no resolution, before beginning again.
Actors: Barry Pelzner, Ruth Waddy, and Mack McFarland
Make-up: Erin Walters
Compositing: Christopher Huizar
Assistance and General Support: Jenene Nagy and Josh Smith at Tilt Gallery and Project Space
A video made in honor of a dying breed-- giant, rotating signs. Also, a lament for the four food groups, now replaced by a food pyramid or some such system.
3 out of 4 appears on the Journal of Short Film, Vol. 11 DVD. Copies can be purchased here.