Please visit the Fall 2012 class website project at Queer Arts Los Angeles Website.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Perfect Wave

This is a clip from I-BE AREA (2008) written, directed, and produced by Ryan Trecartin

At first look of Trecartin videos (and more specifically, this piece called I-BE AREA) seem like an insane culmination of gibberish that has been forced together. The ecclectic use of internet .gif files, 3-D animated icons and visual effects overlayed on what seems to be a series of completely disjointed monologues. In fact, upon looking closer (and probably a few re-watchings) we see that the work is actually very organized and well thought-out. The major themes within the video and characters are a look on technology in a proto-futuristic world, where science and technology has developed to the point where people are dealing with them on an emotional and psychic basis extending beyond our current reality into a metaphysical realm, not too unsimilar to where we as a species are headed now. The monologues and conversations as a script, are phenomenally complex, and have an intense poetic flow to them, unlike anything else. Described by the NY Times during his solo show at PS1, they liken the dialogue to Shakespeare. The work itself extends beyond the Post-Modernist ideals of multiculturalism and queer radicalism, and instead refocuses itself on identity that has extended beyond gender, race, sexual orientation and anything else decisive, allowing the characters to inhabit any body at any point and are free to make up their choice of individuality and self-projection. The use of hand-held camera work and short takes gives the feeling of emotional progressiveness, and a level of anxiety. Watching a Trecartin film can be a marathon, they tend to extend beyond an hour, and they style of the film never ceases. Extremely thought-provoking and entertaining, this is definitely one of the most important artists that is producing work today.

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