Room with a View


Room with a View

2006, 4’59”; single-channel video sound

The visual element of Room With A View is comprised of cells and layers that together become interwoven strands of a video tapestry. Every cell simultaneously obeys a simple rule dependent on the original pattern of each of the layers. The layers freely superimpose and redefine one another depending on the value of the light at the moment. This provides abundant variety in the continuously interacting image. When it is set in motion, all elements are connected as rhythmic states of a continuum. Originally, the image was derived from a single element, a cell. The cell is here transformed into an endlessly changing complex pattern.

For the music of this piece I used the sound generated by my old refrigerator as the fundamental drone. By taking an unconventional sound and using it as a drone, one can place more conventional musical pitches over it and these pitches achieve new meaning through their relationship to the unconventional drone. I added 8 channels of my voice sustaining drones of fifths (the harmonic ratio of 3/2) and octaves (the harmonic ratio of 2/1). This combination of pitch material generated an extended array of harmonics and as the harmonics and pitches of my voice drift in and out of phase with the refrigerator drone we can hear subtle, shifting rhythmic by-products.  The audio and visual components of this work reflect nature as it applies to its more fundamental levels: the motions of molecules, electrons and quarks, which, in and of themselves, are patterns moving.

The underlying themes of this piece are interconnectedness and harmony. Fundamentally, these concepts can be considered essential in the approach to the global ecological crisis. Our relationship to the global environment should be perceived from a holistic viewpoint: each component part can only be understood in terms of its relation to a larger whole. A given system cannot be determined by the sum of its component parts alone. An understanding of how the various components of nature, including human beings and their influences, interact in patterns that affect the ecological balance, will help to remedy our distorted perspective of industrialization and commerce.