by Dan Senn .....................................
Shuffling Defiance began as a study of Tacoma's Point Defiance Park, a Central Park-sized stretch of old growth forest jutting into the Puget Sound. From 1992 to 2003, I daily exercised in the park becoming familiar with every foot of its 100 plus miles of soft needle paths in both directions. It was here, especially when running, that I came to understand how Australian aboriginal aural mapping of land might work. Then, in 1999, about 6 months after shooting December Quivering, I tried to capture what I thought of as a "beat-narrative" on video. After numerous attempts it occurred to me to imitate eye movement, mine, as it came in and out of focus and as I daydreamed* though the towering wooded landscape.
The sound accompaniment for Shuffling Defiance is called Pig Whistles, a work I composed in the mid-1980s, fifteen years before this video was shot. SD is an algorithmic work made using a hybrid computer-synthesizer I built while teaching at the Canberra School of Music in the early 1980s. The system used a TRS80 computer to control a Serge Modular Synthesizer assembled from a kit. The name of the work is taken from a mirror image of a policeman's traffic whistle used to control changing density. The occasional "spittiness" of the voices is caused by imperfections in the analog oscillators, a pleasant addition.
There was no attempt at synchronization between the visual and aural parts.
* In Czech "Dan Senn" translates to "day dream."