.Gandydancer

(2001, 2005)

by Dan Senn
see video (5:25)

Gandydancer is developed from a chance videotaping of the last hours of a vagrant's life. Living in a downtown loft in Tacoma, Washington in 1992, I had mounted a Hi8 camera next to the window when I noticed that the man who had been sleeping in the car across the street was being questioned by the police. Then, for some unknown reason, I swiveled the camera through the blinds and started recording. The following morning, perhaps 10 hours later, my young son came bursting into my studio yelling, "Dad! There's a dead man in the car across the street." Once again, I swiveled the camera through the blinds and started taping.

Years later, I rediscovered this footage but could not imagine a way of using it without it simply being gruesome. With only a small amount of crudely shot footage, and after more than ten years, I decided to "reanimate" the participants to create cartoonish stick-like figures participating in what was truly a wretched affair.The spoken text used is taken from an unrelated situation and project, where an elderly man describes gandydancers at work on the railroad in the 1930s. This achieves a purposeful confusion linking the man, the dancing detectives and railroad gandydancers.

The accompanying music is performed by Dan Senn on a bass violin with all of its strings tuned to E-natural and using a cyclical bowing technique.

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