Site Specific Performance and Architectural Video Mapping

Co-Creator, Co-Director, Digital Media Designer, System Designer


Peer-Reviewed Outcomes/Dissemination:

April 2022

Performance: Figge Art Museum

Part of 42nd Rock Island Art Guild Fine Arts Exhibition

Davenport, IA

August 28 & 29 2020

Performance: Open Air Media Festival at

Public Space One

Iowa City, IA

Photo Gallery:


Key Creative Team:

Co-Creator | Performer | Dana Keeton


Impermanence is a 20-minute performance that combines live mandala creation, video projection mapping onto the exterior of the PS1 Printing Press house, real-time video, and music by percussion ensemble Loop 2.4.3. Informed by our shared experiences during the pandemic, Impermanence contemplates cycles of change, repetition, creation, destruction, loss and regeneration.


Themes that we explored in this piece were informed by our shared experiences during the pandemic. Sheltering at home for six months, the piece contemplated cycles of change, repetition, creation, destruction, loss and regeneration. As a lot of my work does, Impermanence examined the relationship between live, embodied performance of a human working in partnership with physical objects and advanced technology. Using the mandala as a basis for the main art creation – this 20 minute performance might be viewed as form of process art. During the course of the performance Dana Keeton, the co-creator and performer moved through three cycles of creating and deconstructing a mandala. The audience saw various mediated representations of her body. She was standing inside a window of a house. Lit from behind, her silhouette appeared on a white covering in the window. Simultaneously, a top-down camera captured her hands building and deconstructing the mandala. These various views of the mediated body and different POV of the movement/performance offer both a different view into the performative world and what it means to be and view a live embodied performance with simultaneous views of the meditated body.


Much like a mandala itself, we were interested in creating a calm, reflective performative and audience experience, focusing attention on the cycles of life.


All of the video/images that were used in the projections were either made in real-time, in the moment or recorded either by Dana Keeton or myself. Inspired by the music – three sequential tracks on the A side of the album American Dreamland by percussion ensemble Loop 2.4.3., the work cycled through three states of being.


All of the video’s effects were made in-camera with the only post-processing effects being editing of length, color correction, scale and compositing. All footage was shot at 120 frames per second. I have been very intrigued with in-camera slow motion recording for the last several years. As much of my work is about complex systems and post-processing digital effects, as an artist I find it to be extremely satisfying to create in-camera effects. Seeing the world – often at the particle size – move before me within a frame at a rate slower than I can see with my naked eye reveals a side of the world that exists in a beautiful, natural, magical state that can only be revealed through the aided vision of technology – a video camera with a high speed frame rate of recording.


All of the recorded video was taken from travels around the world – something that none of us were able to do during August of 2020. Travel. In a sense, we were bringing the world to Iowa City.


The Cycles:


Cycle 1: Sakura (We Must Love)

The video image is slow motion of a table cloth blowing in the wind at the Jaffa market Tel Aviv, Israel. The video played in palindrome/retrograde. Much like our experience of the pandemic – we were pieces of fabric at the mercy of the elements, moving forward and backwards in time/space. There is something simple and beautiful in how the colors and the patterns of the fabric come to life within the frame as it dances to the wind. The other really compelling thing about the image was the building in the background with the graffiti of people on it. This video of a building projected onto another building really blended the physical with the projected. The black images of bodies in the graffiti of the building in Tel Aviv, mixed with the silhouette of the live performer. This interplay of physical architecture and projection – a mix of the two – how one changes another is a reoccurring theme in my work.


The mandala creation used all found/collected items from nature mostly in various states of life/bloom. The objects were placed one-by-one in process, by the end having created the full mandala, only to be wiped clear at the end.


Cycle 2: As A Child

The video is a composite of bubbles filled with fog. This is the only video that was recorded as a video shoot specifically for this project. We shot with two cameras, both recording at 120 frames per second. Aside from our fascination with the fog bubbles, we were interested in using them for everything they represented: fun, whimsy, beauty, a dance, a cycle of creation from soap/liquid fog juice to a bubble filled with fog to something that burst, leaving a tiny trace of smoke behind. The bubbles also represented a form of cleansing – something so lovely and carefree that is made of soap. We were reminded every day how important it is to wash our hands. Could these bubbles help wash away anxiety and fear for a few brief moments?


The mandala creation started again, using found/collected items from nature mostly in various states of decay. Once again, the objects were placed one-by-one in process, by the end having created the full mandala, only to be wiped clear at the end.


Cycle 3: So Strong

There are two different movies in this cycle composited together. The first is a close up of the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea. Filmed in Costa Rica on the east side of the country in January of 2020. The video is shot in-camera at 120 frames per second. The water represents life, birth, rebirth, change. It allows the audience to be immersed for a moment in this cleansing, life affirming element that provides life to all. The second videos are fire particles shot in Vermont in 2019 at 120 frames per second. This natural element represented change, purification, energy, destruction and renewal.


The mandala creation started yet again, this time using found/collected items from nature in an even mix of various states of decay and life/bloom. Once again, the objects were placed one-by-one in process, by the end having created the full mandala, only this time, the mandala was left in full, intact as the lights, music and projections faded.


Impermanence: Love, Hope, Vote

In addition to the nightly performance, we were asked to activate the building for the duration of the evening – roughly 1.5 hours before our performance began. We created a looping video that repeated for 1.5 hours and also post-show. Given the performance was in an election year right during the pandemic, right before the national election and that the politics and mores of our country were at such a dividing point, we wanted to create a message that spoke to a few things. First and foremost: a reminder to all American citizens viewing the artwork who were of legal, voting age to fulfil their most sacred duties as a citizen – the right to vote. Given such a divided spectrum of views, we also wanted to remind people that an act of voting should be of hope and also one of love. The background colors of red, white and blue were meant to be patriotic, while the purple was meant to invoke unity.


Link to: Article by The Daily Iowan

copyright 2024