Black Coach of Sorrow
August, 2010
An installation/video work about mortality, the fleeting nature of our experiences, and the resistance we show in the face of temporality. The cardboard fort represents both the sense of security we get from sleep, and the fragility of our positions in this life. A text, which reveals itself to be the recounting of a nightmare is painted on the inner walls. An illustration of a key segment covers two walls.


Setup
The fort is made of two connecting rooms, the front is 4 feet tall by 5 feet square. The back is 6 feet tall by 5 feet square. The door is left open for viewers to enter – though they must stoop and crawl inside the smaller front room. There is a make-shift bed in the far corner. The interior is lit by eight low-watt light bulbs hanging in through the ceiling. Power lines stream down from what appears to be a carelessly constructed cardboard framework above. Ropes, like those that hold the fort together also help guide these small light-bulbs into place through slots in the ceiling.

Video
Using appropriated and original footage, the video references sections from the text. Scenes and soundscaping are disconnected and dreamlike; a frantic run through a snowy woodland night overlays the beeping of instruments and the communications of pilots and navigators. Sounds of weather and wild animals are woven into a dark and unknown deep-sea world. Cautious steps are taken in a seemingly abandoned house.

Text
There was a dead blue whale in the ocean. While gliding through the sky I saw it far below, floating up near the surface of an icy but calm Northern Sea. Its belly was pearly white in the glow of the moon. There was nothing around it for a thousand miles. Then, suddenly walking near the beach, I was somehow able to direct a plane flying overhead to its location. The pilots in the dark cockpit wore shiny black helmets while pushing buttons and reading gauges. Red and yellow lights reflected in their shields. Their team would survey the area and do an autopsy, documenting everything they found pertaining to the whale's death. Then I was in a dank, creaking house in the woods at night. The light was dim and gray. Something truly evil was lurking therein, so I found my way to the front door and got out quickly. I started walking in the snow, but then knew I had to go back again for some reason. I was accompanied by a big siberian husky who was also a ghost and was partly made of snow.

He was my friend anyway so that was fine for the moment. We were side by side, moving along at a good pace. Then I realized that a monster was closing in from behind, so I had to get back inside the house (which also contained a monster) fast. Snow was pouring down through the trees. The big husky had vanished. My blood turned cold and my stomach sank as I reached the door; it had turned to a wall of dirt. Dirt. Gravity-defying dirt. Which I knew to be infinitely thick. Never-ending. It was awful.

I stood there clawing at it insanely, only to find the endless door-frame around the endless vertical dirt, screaming: “There was a door here! There was a door here!”