Shaun Irons & Lauren Petty
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Revolving Twilight, 2010
multiple channel video installation with sound, 25 minutes (channels loop at varying lengths)

Revolving Twilight is an immersive video and audio installation inspired in part by tales from nautical lore, notions of optical phenomena and illusion, light particles, ghost ships and the reveries of a drowning victim.

Focusing on notions of optical phenomena and illusion, the piece investigates the sometimes ethereal interaction of light with physical matter or form that results in unearthly mirages, often referred to as fata morgana. These otherworldly occurrences are specifically visible in apparitions of ghost ships refracted in a flickering, color filled ether. Floating, hovering, and capsizing, these elusive visions are thought of not only as portents of doom, but also sources of wonder and spectral beauty. Additional visual and aural motifs are drawn from the natural and scientific realms, including shifting water surfaces, melting ice flows, celestial events, cloud/storm formations, hovering sea birds and handwriting evoking enigmatic messages possibly recorded in a ship's log. The audio score, comprised of electronic distortions, traces of sea shanties, sonar/distress signals, and composed tonal music, is sparse and mesmeric, with occasional eruptions into moments of raucous energy.

Along with the video and sound elements, this project incorporates an assortment of sculptural objects and structures. Atop a table collaged with nautical maps, sailing ships, and half written letters, sits carefully constructed houses of playing cards, small piles of salt and orange peels, illuminated magnifying glasses and mirrors. The walls are adorned with chalk and tape drawings illustrating physical properties of light and water. The full range of nautical, scientific and personal detritus on display gives the work a rich, disturbing and poetic resonance - all coalescing to evoke a kind of mysterious, lost movie set, somewhere between a sea captain's quarters and an abandoned science laboratory.

Engaging minimal yet evocative images, dance and sculptural elements and buoyed by an intricate sound score, Revolving Twilight explores converging realms, particles collide to create something new, light with water, imagination with reality, science with mystery. The piece is an open-ended hallucination without a beginning or an end; a hypnotic dream world combining moments of exuberant chaos with serene beauty and rest.

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