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Artist’s statement

“Your works make my brain puzzled!”

— Danny Bach, photographer/digital fine art printer, Saigon, Vietnam (www.dannybach.com)

“We shall require a substantially new way of thinking if mankind is to survive”

— Albert Einstein, as quoted in Bullets for Breakfast

Beginning with my earliest solo works from the ’70s, I’ve been evolving a unique film language based in a fusion of experimental and documentary sensibilities, often laced with traces of my own biography. I use amateur cameras (including those of iPhone and kindle), as well as hi-end video, weaving various strands together within the editing phase. Juxtaposition and contrast is my modus operandi, and editing is where my real creative work happens. My film Apple Summer (1974) was shot with a second-hand Bolex, and was edited on a kitchen table with a sync block and a pair of rewinds. Today I’m cutting digitally with an infinite possibility of tracks—re-inventing techniques I explored in my abstract, structural and autobiographical works from the ’80s. Now my laptop screen is my sketchbook, where I magnify, expand and recycle works via the looping, layering, and non-linear structuring that has characterized my work from the start. I consider a project finished only when meditations on the physicality of the image are inseparable from the subject at hand.

It is rare that I set out to make a film “about” this or that. Rather, I am driven to explore some formal or psychological question that intrigues me—like how to sustain a flow of ideas within the broken continuity of non-linear structuring. Or, how to analyze time and motion by exploring the space between one frame and another. Trauma, memory, and perception are issues that come up repeatedly in my work, although it was the extreme conflicts of perspective that initially drew me to work on the Burma films (for example). It was the mid-nineties, and I wanted to experience through and within my camera lens the still new internet—how globalization was impacting a world increasingly mired in perilous, radical flux. Whether the issue is diabolic human rights abuse, or filmic play with light, shadow, and my own nude body, I will use every sort of maneuver to open space for the viewer to think and imagine—and will subvert every convention of narrative that obscures the possibility of making personal meaning. Whatever is my sleight of hand, my intent is to lead the viewer toward one’s own private insight, metaphor or other deepest reverie.