SCREENPLAY: ONE AND ONE
Two-channel Sound Installation, 106-minute loop
Screenplay: one and one is a two-channel text-based sound installation consisting of two independent audio channels. These are two real-time recordings of me describing two unnamed feature-length narrative films that I am watching with the sound off. My descriptions are spoken shot by shot, following the editing of the films, treating each shot somewhat as a statement, and each scene as a paragraph. My speech attempts to keep up with the film’s pacing, and I attempt to describe in as much detail as possible the visual images and camera movements that I am watching. It is, of course, nearly impossible to keep up with the pace of either film’s editing and to jam spontaneous speech into the relatively compact containers of each shot. The piece is thus rooted in its own impediments. The resulting speech recordings include plenty of verbal detritus – ums and uhs, hesitations, graspings for the right word, mistakes. They are played back simultaneously on two separate loudspeakers side by side.
For me, the piece is an interrogation rather than a fulfillment. Some conceptual concerns or questions include the following:
The sound of saying what watching might be.
Enslaving speech to the mise-en-scène.
Language as an eye requiring an ear in order to reconstruct the schism between seeing and saying.
Spoken language’s informational role collapsed into the density of cinematic seeing.
In addition to the speech/visual, contrast/conflict discourse in the work, there is also an underlying humor in its reference to people talking in the theater, or asking you to describe what they missed when they went out for popcorn.