ARTIST STATEMENT

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I believe in the sustained exploration of visual and verbal images and their informing of and weaving into one another. In the deepest sense, film editing and translation are not different from one other: in the same way that writing and making moving visual images are not separate. The way all arts inform each other is one of my principal pre-occupations, and it is my artistic praxis to seek this understanding. I am an avid reader and read the dictionary avidly, I seek my inspiration in music, painting, all other arts. 

Along with a desire to manifest surrealist amazement, a landscape of the marvelous, my work seeks to reveal well-guarded, short-lived episodes of Self-Knowledge, of Self not as personal Freudian dilemma but as deficiency of the age, an attack on signifiers blindly and stubbornly clutched onto, an obsessive practice of revelation of direction Underneath. 

I obsessively collect images, whether by using a small semi-professional digital camera, or by downloading found footage from various moving image archives. I then edit the images I have accumulated, Joseph Cornell-like, using digital editing software such as Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Photoshop and After Effects. The collages, among others, of Max Ernst and Jindrich Styrsky—-to whose still image concepts I then add the element of time-—have served as inspiration over the years, as well as the collage-ing and multiple layering in the films of Pat O’Neill. In addition, I am an obsessive viewer of Man Ray’s rayographs, as well as a practicing admirer of Ray’s experimental manner of work. I also take encouragement from the intricate work of Duchamp, whose meticulously elaborate construction takes place over extended periods of time. 

I revel in the development of technology, the uses of which have permitted me alchemical transportation of mundane images, prompting the in(ves)stigations of imagination and philosophy. 

In both my moving image work and my writing I continue to draw inspiration from the Jewish Romanian avant-garde poets and painters of the era between the two world wars and soon after: poets such as Tristan Tzara, Paul Celan, Gherasim Luca, Ilarie Voronca, Gellu Naum, who I have widely translated, and painters such as Victor Brauner and Jacques Herold. Philosophically, I am inspired by the theoretical writings of Octavio Paz and Deleuze & Guattari. I also deeply appreciate the collegiate mentorship I have shared with poets Andrei Codrescu and Will Alexander. 

My many years as a film editor prove my ability to work with intense focus, uninterruptedly, for extended periods, to meet deadlines, to learn and apply vast and evolving technical know-how. These years of experience have ensured that I am practiced in triggering an active and agile imagination at will: thus I have enhanced or even “repaired” countless projects as I have received them, redeeming substandard performances, script problems, budget constraints, etc.; these projects have served as unparalleled mentors in developing my practice and theory of the profound territory of the narrative, both abstract and concrete. 

Working within the confinement of the narrative structure, my imagination escaped into various other undefinable-by-that-formal-structure realms, alive in surrealism and childhood’s fairy tale motivated worlds. The actual daily practice of film editing, with its long and demanding hours, a kind of forced march, enlarged my capabilities for extended periods of work and exercised my imagination muscles, along with the desire to escape the constraints of manipulative narratives. A kind of revolt, a fostering of subversion.