Posts Tagged ‘mirror’

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

2001<<<>>>2006 by Guthrie Lonergan is, to begin with, composed of one smaller YouTube player embedded on top of – and, thus, foregrounding – the center of a second, larger YouTube player.

The smaller, foreground video is appropriated material.

It is composed of a rhythmic series of quick zooms into the center of still images – each of which depicts teenage boys mugging for the camera as they mess around with two default image effects.

These image effects are:

1. A “mirror” tool which vertically bisects the video, creating a series of distortions including an effect which allows the teenagers to resemble the doe-eyed, large-foreheaded cliché of the “space alien.”

2. A “swirl” tool which deforms the faces of the teenage boys into swirling spirals.

The soundtrack in this video consists of the Queen song “I Want to Break Free.”

The larger, background video is the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey in which Dr. David Bowman “breaks free” of the laws of Cartesian space-time as it is visualized in two motifs.

Those motifs are:

1. Traveling at high-speed in-between two vertically (and subsequently horizontally) bisected walls of colored light.

2. Slowly approaching evanescent cloud forms resembling high-powered telescopic imagery of distant galaxies and spiraling supernovas on his way to the dawning of a new evolutionary leap.

The soundtrack in this larger, background video is the film’s original musical score, which is dominated by the heavily atmospheric, collaged strings of Requiem by the composer György Ligeti.

When one plays both videos at once, the rhythmic zooms into the bisected center of the mirrored photos in the video of the teenage boys create a counter-point to the evenly-paced movement towards the horizon of the vertically-bisected walls of light in the larger, background YouTube player.

In addition, the pounding, danceable rhythm of the Queen song creates a counter-point to the experimental sound-scapes of Requiem, and, furthermore, as one continues to view the work, the rhythmic zooms into the swirled faces of the teenage boys counter-point the spiraling inter-galactic imagery of 2001.

These counter-points of imagery and soundtrack in 2001<<<>>>2006 are either a gimmick or a creative leap forward in the way appropriated content is re-contextualized on the Internet.

Perhaps it’s both.

The disturbing thing about that baby at the end of the film is how simultaneously dumb and sublime she is.