|Duration 10 minutes W
Backyard Refuse from Watertown, WI
Film and Music by Dan Senn
Wasteland (2018) is composed of two bathroom articles, a claw footed bath tub and cast iron sink both chucked out on the back lawn of Dan's parent's home in about 2001. "It was a warm and balmy October day" says Dan, "and for some reason I decided to take my Sony VX2000 out back and map the surface of these familiar objects now so rudely recontextualized. My Dad had a problem throwing things away". About the same time, back in Dan's Tacoma, WA, studio, he was recording (audio) himself playing the bass violin using a cyclical bowing technique with the strings tuned to E-natural. Then, 17 years later, he edited these old video tapes for a 1920 x 1080 pixel screen resolution while maintaining the original clarity of the 720 x 480 originals and added one of his many E-natual improvisations from the same time. Dan has problem throwing things away.
Dan Senn is an interdisciplinary artist working in experimental music composition, video, and sound sculpture but also makes feature length documentary films with little, if any, assistance from others. He is the director of the Echofluxx media festivals in Prague, and co-founder of Roulette Intermedium in New York City. He lives in Prague, The Czech Republic, and Watertown, Wisconsin and has directed and produced the documentaries “The Exquisite Risk of Civil War Brass”, "A House on Jungmanova”, and most recently, “Voices of Theresa” and "The Christo Effect". He has also produced scores of experimental works, some which can be viewed at Dan-Senn.com.
"I intended no meaning by this piece but what strikes me is now is how meaningful the work is after the fact. My original intent was to see if I could do something interesting with this old footage within the currrent 1920 x 1080 pixel format, and decided to proceed by expandng the image using multple frames, visual fugues, mirror imagery, etc. Abrupt areas of black burst were added as a means of bringing the sound track, a bass fiddle drone, to the foreground while framing variation tacts in the video. At some point, however, the work awakened me to how symmetry in art is a weakness--a kind of cheap response to a need to please customers--and rather than stop the process, I pushed it further realizing the curious impact it was also having on anthropomorphizing the images.
Ahhh, the narcissistic love of echo and seeing faces in the junky patterns! Even so, what kept me going was the assymetry of the rugged sound track, as it churned on thoughout, as it force back the reality of what was being filmed in the first place and so I continued." DS