About the series
This collection of videos reveals movement in and around the Tuolumne River in Yosemite, California in 2017. The subjects are bubbles, pine needles and other floating forest debris, projectile water droplets, and other flying things.
What I’ve done is to capture moving subjects with video. The camera is set on a steady tripod, so that the background can remain stable and only the motion of the subject comes through. It helps if there is some contrast between the subject and the background –in the case of this series the subjects are light and the background is dark.
Because the video is captured on a sturdy tripod, you can see how the background remains stable and the only motion that comes through is that of the moving subjects.
In addition to the video art, I've taken the final still images and made single edition prints. These prints depict the full accumulation of the blends. In a way, they are like abundant multiple exposures.
How it works
These videos are created from sequences of images, blended in a progression to reveal the motion of the subject. You can see how crisp tracks will develop as these natural tracers move along their complex trajectories. The blending algorithm also has a particularly alluring effect on the water itself – as if it was taken out of time, or in a state of suspension.
I take the individual frames from a video clip to produce an image sequence. Then, with pixel-processing and computational techniques, the frames are superimposed in a progression. In doing so, the paths that these moving, fleeting subjects take through space become revealed.
What's it all about?
What I see in these trajectories are line drawings with a liveliness that comes from directly tracing the physics of nature. The lines are abstract, like that which a simulation or an algorithm might produce. At the same time they are concrete, they are captured representations of physical subjects following their own rich and complex paths through the real world.
It's as if, instead of doing the programming myself to make a composition, I let nature do the programming and I arrange to capture and reveal it.