Last Days of Snow: The Begending of the Universe
2 channel video projection with 20 minute performance
This part of the Last Days of Snow trilogy, explores the link between the big bang theory and analogue television snow. Physicists and cosmologists explain that a percentage of the snow we see on analogue television screens is actually caused by residual radiation from the big bang.
Presented at VIVA! Art Action festival in Montreal, 2011, in the Bain St. Michel
Original Performance Format:
• The original performance took place in an empty swimming pool (Bain St. Michel). • Water ran down the back wall of the pool. • A two channel video projection onto the wall of running water presented images of
physics formulae that proved and demonstrated the link between the big bang theory and analogue television static (snow). The videos also contained images of snow static, underwater imagery, and a slowly flickering super 8 transfer of my mother and myself as a toddler walking on the beach in the 1970s.
• I stood against the wall of running water between the two images and sang the a series of numbers from the electromagnetic spectrum from plank time (the big bang) down through the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared spectrum until arriving at microwaves (static). This involved memorizing 5 minutes worth of numbers to 6 decimal points in degrees Kelvin, Celsius, and nanometer wavelengths.
• As I sang the numbers, I slowly slid down the wall in a slow squat as water ran over my body until seated at microwaves. As the 5 minute song / squat progressed, muscles began to tire and you could hear the physical strain in my voice while singing. This was a work of endurance and memorization.
In addition to the link between time, cosmology and communications (the big bang and 20th century analog television), this work also draws on embodiment theory and memory. Underwater footage in the video, while not directly related to either cosmology or televisual technology becomes a metaphorical and at times emotional reference to the sensation of the fluidity of time, as well as a more direct reference to the functioning of waves (be they electromagnetic waves or oceanic waves). Processed and transferred home movie footage of my mother and myself references the way in which media (televisual and otherwise) becomes integrated with interpersonal relationships (family and otherwise), and thus takes up a significant part of memory. This footage also references the passage of time and compares the relatively insignificant scale of a persons life-timeline to the much more impressive time-line of the universe.