INSTALLATIONS

Tue Mon Amour

2017 4 channel installation with distributed sound; music by Dorian Wallace

We don’t know ourselves very well, but we are defining ourselves daily. We are hiding from what hurts – a reality where our innocence makes us guilty.  Threatened by the messy, disturbing, physical world, we protect ourselves from truth, in a post-truth world.

Entre Nous

2017 2 channel media installation with distributed sound; music by Dorian Wallace

We live in a time when we cannot trust ourselves. Ignoring what is natural reveals a desire to discorporate, and evaporate. Lives are wasted on folly, ideas are stillborn – our sense of self has been tortured, until what remains is a ghostly reflection.

Ellipsis

2017 11:35 stained glass inside a 9x16 video projection, stereo sound

The question of authority and what turns the world is more important than ever. But the world is out of control, and seemingly without passion or respect - so we seek causality. Doesn’t matter what it is – we must understand what makes things stop – and go.

The Temptation of St. Anthony

(or Tony's Troubles)

2016, 3 channel media opera, written by John Sanborn (words) and Dorian Wallace (music)

 

What is Faith without God?

It is a belief in the self, in enlightened consciousness - in order to effect change without direction. We have only our lives with which to act; yet we deny ourselves an objective, to give virtue to a lie. Searching for truth is honorable, but unending. Expressing that truth is the objective of every human, and every artist.

 

In this modern opera, written by Dorian Wallace and John Sanborn, Tony finds himself able to effect change with his hands, his mind and his soul. For him, the act is the reward. He is not interested in theories, or opinions – for the evidence of his divinity is self-evident. He can makes something out of nothing.

 

For this he is tempted, tortured and ultimately redeemed. In his reclamation he embraces a rare value – that of force of will.  Beyond any rational understanding of “possible” there is potential that defies definition. It is to such purpose that I dedicate this work.

V+M

2015, 3 channels HD video + sound, 17,280 X 768 pixels, 35:31

music by Theresa Wong

 

The story of Venus and Mars fascinates poets and philosophers as a mythic example of the balance between opposing energies – beauty and brutality, order and magic, and grace and strength. V+M goes beyond gender assignments in order to get to the source of the balance of power in relationships, the nature of myth making and the origins of desire.

 

Rhyme or Reason

2015, 3 channels HD video + sound, 1920 x 2660 pixels, 14:48

music by Theresa Wong

courtesy the artist

 

Rhyme or Reason expresses humanity positioned somewhere between inarticulate intimacy and a vast social machine. The work is a commentary on our inability (but continual struggle) to define ourselves - powerless against the forces of nature and the initiatives of civilization.

 

Alterszorn (the rage of age)

2016, 5 channels HD video + sound, Horizontal 5760 pixels by Vertical 3840 pixels, 15:16

 

In middle age, there is a tendency to moderate; to grow conservative and slow down. All you have to do is lie to yourself. As you meditate on aging, there is a transition from one state of understanding to another – reflected in joy and regret.

 

Some choose the inverse path, with the forces of time and intellect pushing and pulling at each other in a violent war of wills and a suspicion of the status quo. Do not go gentle, my ass. Symptoms of a personality definition disorder emerge in fragments of text and sequences being played forward and again in ferocious rewind.

 

Rock | Paper | Scissors

2015, 3 channels HD video + sound, each channel 1920 X 1080 pixels, 15:00 (random play)

 

The search for a rhythm to life is an eternal quest. There is a pulse that drives our methods of communication and ability to express ourselves - and we look for it everywhere. The usual routine is anthropomorphism - projecting human traits into inanimate objects - bringing life to the lifeless. What if we reversed the process, and reduced the complexities of humanity to elemental qualities? Strip away the educated artifice and go back to basics - and maybe we get a solution. Or at least a beat.

 

resound (remake)

1982|2016, 6 channels HD video + sound, each channel 1920 X 1080 pixels, 7:34 (random play)

 

The original installation of “resound” was a seven-channel video and sound work exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art in 1981. Originally an extension of the short video work “Order”, “resound” took the notion of John Cage that all sound is music and orchestrated 12 “found” sounds to create a percussive environment. At once joyous and deliberate, “resound” was rebuilt several times over the years for different venues. “resound (remake)” will evoke the original, but be richer, darker, and much, much louder.

 

MEDIA ART OBJECTS

 

MYTHIC STATUS

2015-2016, single channel HD video + sound, 9X16 display format

music by David Meyer

 

We revise our relationship to the divine and to the act of creation as we refashion ourselves. If consciousness is identification and existence is identity; then the gender queer hero displays god-like powers - as perception and objectivism represent a fresh reality. These portraits fuse the personalities of the performers and the personas of our myths.

 

Apollo | performed by Jiz Lee, 2015, HD video + sound, 1080 X 1920, 11:43

music by David Meyer

 

Atalanta | performed by Adi Lockheart, 2015, HD video + sound, 1080 X 1920, 9:50

music by David Meyer

 

Hercules | performed by Ramses Rodstein, 2016, HD video + sound, 1080 X 1920,10:12

music by David Meyer

 

Nyx | performed by Jasmine McKay, 2016, HD video + sound, 1080 X 1920, 12:10

music by David Meyer

 

 

THE WHITE ALBUM

2015, three multi-media works

 

 “The White Album” is a family of three video art objects hung on a wall, addressing the opaque and duplicitous nature of memory and the frustration of representation. A mix of physical and electronic, they echo the workings of the mind as it tries to grasp a fleeting idea or a complex emotional state.

 

Equivocal Value (redacted), 2015, HD video + sound: displayed on LCD system in cardboard construction, 30” X 30”, 2:17

 

Apophenia (patterns of noise), 2015, HD video + sound: displayed on LCD system in cardboard construction, 25” X 53”, 2:15

 

DOX (an approximation) 2015, HD video + sound: displayed on LCD system in cardboard construction, 25” X 35”, 2:09

 

 

RED Books series

2016, 2 of 5 multi-media works

courtesy the artist

 

Our education never stops. Each day we understand more and put that knowledge to use. Or not.

 

Book 1:THE CUSTODY OF LIES

2016, HD video + sound: displayed on LCD system in paper and paint construction, 7:38

 

No one is going to help you, but everything stops at some point, and you wipe the slate clean and start over. The laughter was temporary – air in, and air out – and so you move on. Yet each indicator adds a wrinkle to the face. Dimples are flexed and stretched with action and age. Worries about the future dissolve in the here and now. Release can come at any minute.

 

Book 2: THE SAME FLOWERS

2016, HD video + sound: displayed on LCD system in paper and paint construction, 5:23

 

Look once and see the daytime; look twice and see the light. Maybe the repetition will change your mind. Each pass makes the gesture stronger. Each attempt brings you nearer to success. Try to make it perfect and you’ve already failed. Live with the imperfection and find peace.

 

THE DETRITUS OF INGENUITY

PEJORATIVE

 

DISMAL (7 Bad Ideas)

copyright 2019 John Sanborn

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