a static-flavored shape, 2018
iterative video installation
188" x 144" projected image, variable height

a static-flavored shape is an iterative video installation articulating psychological spaces and silent narratives specific to the experience of pacific islanders and the unique dysphoria that results from inter-generational trauma. The work is an attempt to create a type of “dissonant ethnography” centered around the abstraction of qualitative data, culled from personal memory, familial oral histories and online investigations. Themes addressed specifically include centrality of event as it pertains to the construction of identity in individuals who have experienced trauma, noise aesthetics as an analog for cultural dysphoria, and the immaterial as signifier.

“street echoes ’ēheu—and it sure is”
Pacific-sourced sea salt, near-infrared lamps, digital video projection

Iteration developed for inclusion in The Snake, curated by Kristan Kennedy and exhibited at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

The methamphetamine epidemic that first took hold of O’ahu in the mid-1980s continues to ravage urban pacific island communities. It is a phenomenon that has redefined our homes, neighborhoods, legal system and cultural milieu, but remains largely absent in wider discussions of experience and survivance. Here, the expression of this condition is abstracted and exploded, mapping space through visual disturbance, skewed perspectives and the ambient qualities of media engagement.

Employing an aesthetic centered upon the deconstruction of cinematic experience, the installation purposefully decenters the moving image, placing it on low on the floor, at an architectural scale too slim to inhabit but too large to provide an ideal perspective. Viewing, then, becomes a conscience act, situating the viewer decidedly out of frame, unimmersed. The platform on which the projection is captured is coated in Pacific-sourced sea salt, a finish both delicate and restrictive, its crystalline properties adding another dimension of grain to the static-heavy image. To further highlight this disparity between “inside” and “outside”, infrared lights are suspended at irregular points surrounding the low plinth, creating zones of heat and a subtle glow beyond the assumed boundary of the installation. This negotiation of exhibition space vs. installation space, an intentional blurring of borders, also denotes the ambient environment constructed as a key element to the moving image, focusing on the narratives obscured by subjective observation, or hidden in the ephemeral.

Photo by Chris Rohrer.

“grazed my neck w/ a burnt piece of land in liliha”
ceramic, activated charcoal, micro-bead glass, near-infrared lamps, digital video projection

Iteration developed for the Honolulu Biennial 2019, curated by Scott Lawrimore, Nina Tonga & Devon Bella.