Alien (remastered) and Oracle (remastered)
In producing the two ink on paper series Alien (Remastered) and Oracle (Remastered), I have revisited two of my first video works: Alien (1998) and Oracle (1999). It is, in part, a meditation on intermedia practice, and how sometimes technological ‘advancement’ can in fact be set in motion the other way, i.e. starting from a “new media” position and working in a retrograde process that results in something “done by hand”.
With video works such as Alien and Oracle, it would not make sense to produce a digital incarnation other than that which it is already in – moving image. However, if the strangely distorted, digitally mediated performances that constitute the video works could be captured and re-interpreted through another, more ancient kind of performance (painting), this would produce ‘portraits’ that could not have existed without the prior technological intervention.
Using the term “remastered” for this series, I consciously reference the fact that the “master” is a source located elsewhere and here, re-interpreted. The idea of “remastering” has become commonplace in the digital era. Remastering is the process of making a new master for an album, movie, or any other creation. It often involves going back to an older, analogue version of a recording, effecting certain “improvements” in terms of colour or signal-to-noise ratio, and producing a new digital version which would then function as the new master copy. In this case, the “remastering” process has produced thoroughly analogue “masters” from a digital source.
While these “re-mastered” series may provide a fresh way to engage with the video works themselves, in turn they offer a way to unlock new meaning from the original context. In unstitching the electronic fluidity of video, one performative gesture is translated into another, which heightens aspects of ritual in both new and more traditional media.
Remastered series (Alien and Oracle)
Indian ink on Fabriano
500mm x 750mm