Curatorial Projects > Because the Night

LiveBox video program list and descriptions. Thumbnail: Still from a video by Christine McPhee.

Because the Night
Video program curated by LiveBox Gallery Inc. / Catherine Forster
Guggenheim Gallery Chapman University

The program was inspired by Patti Smith’s recording “Because the Night”, and reflects the multiple facets of human behavior and local habitats in the night.

Program time: 40 min

1. Somnio: Paulo Fernandez (Chile), 1:37 min, 2008
Somnio is a experimental video project that explores the audiovisual construction of using the body as central. Framed by the theme of sleeping, Somnio explores physiological and dreamlike dimension through kinetic visual and sound encounters.

2. Outside the Portico or An Exploration Into the Night Time of Wilderness: Caleb Engstrom (USA/Iowa), 2008, 1:28 min. Improvised video performance (mess around) that took place outside the Portico Gallery in Iowa City, Iowa. The work is a study on the nature of behavior, when stripped of time and responsibility. To quote actor and director, Alan Alda, "You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition". This is an exploration into the nighttime of wilderness.
3. Project for a Grey Dress: Pierre St-Jacques (USA/NY), 12:30 min, 2005
The piece is very loosely based on Alain Robbe-Grillet's novel "Project for a Revolution in New York". A woman in her apartment is getting ready to go out, she is ironing her grey dress. A man comes up the stairs, presumably to meet her but this is not certain. The style in the Robbe-Grillet book is one of ellipses and repeating patterns, because of those structures we are never quite certain what the intentions of the protagonists are. The basic central theme is of desire, desire for the other and also for the self.

4. Salt: Christina McPhee (USA/LA), 9:00 min, 2004
Post San Simeon earthquake nightmare and reflections on San Andreas Fault salt bed. SALT is born of the 6.5 magnitude San Simeon earthquake of December 2003. The night of the quake, McPhee recorded mass media’s take on the destruction – television’s six o clock lineup. Amid dismal reportage, an antagonist appears, taking recordings and drawing in the dry salt of Soda Lake.

5. αθδ(alfa / thêta / delta): Midori Sakuraï, (Japan/France-Paris), 5:54 min, 2008
“αθδ” is the 9th video in the series “DNA”, inspired by the electroencephalography (EEG). The video captures a night of insomnia through abstract imagery coupled with alpha, beta, theta and delta waves. Beta waves are the states of normal waking consciousness; alpha waves are detected during periods of waking; theta waves appear with drowsiness; and delta waves during periods of deep sleep associated with dreams.
Sound combines voice and music arranged from variations on Nessun Dorma / Turandot by Giacomo Puccini arrangement for a music box merged with eeg-α, eeg-β, eeg-θ, eeg-δ audio capture.

6. Corps: Michael Szpakowski (UK/London), 3:48 min, 2007
'Corps' was shot in a single winter night in London from just after people quit work until late. London becomes a dance as in "corps de ballet", and a study of the individual human body within this -"corps".

7. Night Walk: Fabienne Gautier (France/Paris), 5:00 min, 2004
Color Super 8 to DV, 7 min. An improvised walk through Paris at night. Exercise in color and abstraction emanating from the city’s ethos.

Because the Night