Gore and Bill in Chicago (Rehearsals for Retirement) (2005)

(14 minutes)

Single-screen video produced with the “Watergate” (interactive MAX patch designed by the artist).

This work explores the idea of blind spots permeable to viewer projection. William F. Buckley (conservative) and Gore Vidal (liberal) debate on the question of police brutality during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. A song by Phil Ochs—Rehearsals for Retirement—wistfully expressing the “failure of democracy” (failure to successfully hear the words of the demonstrators), gates the ongoing debate (the conversation can be seen/heard when the vocalist sings, when he is quiet the gates close). This work is intended to explore the concept of projective hearing, wherein the viewer fills in the blanks, in an attempt to gain a clear understanding of the topic at hand. It is also destined to investigate the relative impact of erasure (blind spots) on the elocutionary styles of Buckley (flowery, padded) and Vidal (factual, direct); who stands to lose the most political/elocutionary ground from constant erasure? The contemporary notion of soundbyte, and its slippery duality of objective temporality and subjective informational content is at the basis of this work.

Comments are closed.