Sunflower web gallery statement

Sunflower is a single channel video piece, part of a trilogy entitled The Ends of the Earth. The theme of the trilogy is love, each piece deals with this theme in a different context, in the case of Sunflower the subtext of the piece is platonic love between friends.

This piece is the result of a collaboration with a friend of mine, the writer Jon Wei. He created the dialog for the piece in reaction to an early version of the video. The video is derived from footage of floating ice on Lake Superior that was shot during the spring thaw. The dialog deals with questions of mutability and change, much as the lake itself wavers between solid and liquid for a very brief time as the pack ice is breaking up. Two voices are discussing the inherent nature of three different people, them selves and a third person, as well as the relationships between these three. The two voices appear to personify their essential nature as revealed in the discussion (consistency versus mutability for instance), however they are in fact all voiced by a single actor performing in real time. The situation is further confused because the piece is presented in three separate scenes, in each scene the conversation is identical but the roles are exchanged by simple changes to the pronouns. In each scene a different character becomes the unseen third person who is being discussed by the other two. In fact it is not even clear that these really are three separate people, rather than three different aspects of the same mind conducting in internal conversation with itself.

The dialog for Sunflower was performed by the actor Jonathan Smoots and recorded at the Media Center in the Communication Arts Department of the University of Wisconsin Madison.