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Lilith, 1987

Steina, Lilith, 1987 (full version) (video)
Steina, Lilith, 1987 (full version) (video)
Lilith (with analog processing) shows the mobile face of painter Doris Cross, talking and shifting in a natural background. Her voice has been processed through a Vocoder, so that her words are no longer understandable. Concurrently, with a luminance keyer, darker parts of her face are removed, reversed, and reinserted in slight delay, so that the parts do not exactly match. This delayed image is set against the background of an initially half-minute-long segment of in-and-out-of-focus trees bending in the wind, which are manipulated back-and-forth in real and slowed-down time. The visible transformation of image into object is reflected on the audio level as well, demonstrating the phases of the kind of transfiguration that result in an image synthesis. Steina, in Lilith, presents the process rather than the results of transfiguration, because the constantly changing image fields perform, in real time, a smooth shifting from temporal to spatial organization - similar to digital articulation. The alterations and manipulations of the face of Doris Cross subsume the painter into a traditional object of painting: that is, a portrait in a natural landscape. In an ironic comment on visual media, the painter is portrayed at the crossroads of a submerged natural and technological landscape. The flexible quality of the visual imagery emphasizes the spatial dimension, so that the image-as-object is overtaken by the medium of presentation. The result is an "almost sculptural fusion of human figure and landscape." (S.V.)

Yvonne Spielmann © 2004 FDL