Underground Film Journal

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Preview: Christina McPhee’s Shed Cubed

By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 14, 2010

What’s black and white and red all over? It’s artist Christina McPhee‘s latest video project, shed cubed / transborder immigrant light, of which you can watch a four-minute preview embedded above. The final video will have captured over 18 months of performative drawing “to result in calligraphies, or notations, of spatial gestures within a small limited space,” according to McPhee. The full project will debut in February 2011 at Empty Cube in Lisbon, Portugal.

I’m not entirely sure why, but I really dig McPhee’s overlapping and dissolving widescreen technique, which she also used for the video Tesserae-Yellow Tahiti Substation Foods 4 Less that the Underground Film Journal embedded a few months ago. Perhaps its the intense sensation of scanning back and forth with your eyes while the video plays, an act that occurs but is typically taken for granted while watching any video or film, but you really end up being conscious of it while watching shed cubed and her other videos.

Plus, even though McPhee divides the screen into differing amounts per different sequences; i.e. sometimes the screen is broken up into two pieces, or three or four; the accumulative effect is that the video is happening as a triptych with three evenly-spaced sections. That’s completely not the case, even though I’d swear on a stack of Bibles it was after a first viewing.

Now, the reason I enjoy this particular video of McPhee’s is probably not for a reason intended by the artist. But, the art being created in the video reminds me of when in some horror movies they have a character locked in a padded cell in a mental asylum and the walls are covered by insane rants and/or creepy drawings, such as in the film In the Mouth of Madness by John Carpenter. I like the art being created here very much and, while it seems very abstract in general, I couldn’t help transforming in my own mind the black squiggles into monstrous shapes and bodies. I’ve probably just seen too many horror movies…

If you like the above video, I do highly recommend watching Tesserae-Yellow Tahiti Substation Foods 4 Less on the Underground Film Journal if you didn’t watch it previously. Also, McPhee has over two-dozen great videos uploaded to Vimeo and you can always read more about her on her official website.

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