Our project invites the audience to see everyday moments anew, to see past our phones and our social media profiles, to connect with the world and enjoy a conversation between complete strangers…
"From that first day, I was exhilarated… I realized that this sort of picture came closer to how we actually see, which is to say, not at all once but rather in discrete, separate glimpses, which we then build up into our continuous experience of the world… There are a hundred separate looks across time from which i synthesize my living impression of you. And this is wonderful."
-David Hockney (on his Joiner Photographs)
"We know that we live in complex times that demand complex thoughts and conversations -- and those, in turn, demand the very time and space that is nowhere to be found. The convenience of limitless connectivity has neatly paved over the nuances of in-person conversation, cutting away so much information and context in the process. In an endless cycle where communication is stunted and time is money, there are few moments to slip away and fewer ways to find each other."
-Jenny Odell (from How to Do Nothing)
Flowers & a Switchblade is a 360-degree video collage that was assembled from hundreds of moments captured on multiple iPhones in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The experience documents a real-life conversation between Candice & Bridget, two millennial women who had never met or talked before.
The world we have built is unlike anything you’ve seen in VR. It is our world made digital, fractured into pieces & reassembled with all of the process’s seams & glitches showing. It is Prospect Park, a sprawling green space in NYC deconstructed into its smaller parts. Candice & Bridget are assembled from roughly 12 videos each. Three iPhone cameras were positioned on each of their faces to capture their expressions during their entire conversation.
In part, I selected Candice & Bridget for this project as a social experiment. They have different education levels, personalities & backgrounds, and I saw potential for conflict & drama in a discussion between a law student & a "free-spirit". Candice & Bridget found that they have much in common despite their differences. In Flowers & a Switchblade, they explore topics that would interest any 30 year old. They discuss tattoos, self-harm, immigration, work/life balance, and laugh about how they would not want their mothers’ lives.
I’ve been working in video collage for over 5 years and have made a number of innovations in that time, but this is the first video of its kind to be presented in 360-degree. I shoot all my footage on iPhones, and my handheld approach makes the image breathe through the expanding & contracting of its smaller video parts. I’m interested in our short attention spans, and have found that this alternative multicamera style speaks to the hyperstimulated, over-exposed space that many of us live in today. I’ve also created a rig which mounts multiple iPhones to capture movement as a collage. I’ve used this rig to document people skateboarding, dancing, snowshoeing, and to capture the facial expressions in this project.
Making Flowers & a Switchblade on almost no budget would not have been possible 10 years ago. This project is inextricably linked to smartphones, both in process & concept. I’m interested in the integration of the analog & digital that I see in our daily lives, and I think this project simulates that dynamic as the analog human connection is recorded, processed & presented digitally. I’ve been excited to see this 360-degree video collage world come together over the past two years, and I hope you find the experience stimulating.
Thank you for your interest in our project.