How is the use of film and projectors significant to your process?
I started out using film, so that is where I come from. Working with video is very different from working with film. I think film is much closer to painting and sculpture than it is to video. Video has nothing to do with light, and light is a big component of my work. The projector occupies center stage in the gallery and thus defines it. Throughout this exhibition the duality of dialogue and monologue is explored in various ways: projectors that speak to one another or that simply stand alone; sound that dialogues with light. In all of them lies an attempt for different voices to converge into one; the possibility of many thinking something together. One piece is a 16mm film where I cut out text from and throughout the actual film that is projected on the wall, which says “Pssst.” It is a loop that gets repeated, but it becomes more like a form, a meditation, almost a sound. I used different photographic filters, which I filmed before and then processed. Then I cut out the text. The layers of colors and text create the “sound-poem.” Cinema is a kind of writing. Many of my works pose the question of whether reading can be cinematic. Films are transformed into texts and texts into films, not so much as a narration but as a political standpoint.
How do all of the components in your exhibition connect with the theme of documents?
I have an interest in histories that are created from traces of society, where they mix with materials like the land. I see them as documents left by society. The land has its specific history and manifestation, and these inscriptions meld together. They are situated together in a state of suspension of time. It is not a narrative time, but an extended one, that spills over in between works. And it is exactly there, in the space between the fragments that the narrative is constructed and time moves. The two prints are part of an ongoing project, in which I am interested in capturing traces left by trains. While I was in Marfa, I realized that each passing train left a little scratch on the rail, so I used tracing paper to make rubbings of all these traces, another kind of archive. In the show there is a Marfa track and a San Antonio track, and my idea is to do this all over the United States.
Tell us about the soundtrack in the piece.
The soundtrack is a computer-generated voice, which I modulated, and it reads my text describing my own definition of landfills. For example, “Landfill objects can be seen as a fictional superimposing of all possible books printed over a long period of time.”