The Huffington Post, in collaboration with Elizabeth Dee Gallery and MoMA PS1, is proud to present Ryan Trecartin's new Roamie View : History Enhancement, from his Any Ever series. Any Ever will open at MoMA PS1 on June 19, and the video is one of seven constituent pieces.
Read more below.
Known for its manic editing, unexplained slang system and frequent incoherence, Trecartin's work might be overwhelming to absorb if it weren't for all the fun going on. The scenes in Roamie View : History Enhancement are full of overly eloquent children, free-form dancing and casual metaphysics. One character stands nonchalantly in front of a framed Constitution and explains, "I thought it would be neat and cute if someone took out all of the times they say 'people' or 'humanity' and replaced it with 'situations.' And, then every reference to 'God,' take it out and replace it with 'the Internet' and then play it over a house beat."
The live format at PS1 also promises to aid in digestion. With intertextuality so important to the structure of Any Ever, no YouTube or Vimeo video can hope to contain it, and the ability to walk back and forth between rooms with different videos is essential. Trecartin's art is to narrative filmmaking what hypertext is to writing, and it's the moments of hyperlinking, the recollections a viewer may have from another video in another room, that demand an exhibition setting.
One isn't expected to focus continuously on the videos, and they encourage distraction and forgetting. In fact, the pace and simultaneity of some scenes in Roamie View : History Enhancement, with spastic cutting and artificially-pitched sound, actively prevent concentration. Instead, we're invited to notice ourselves drifting away from the scene, lapsing in and out of narrative like the projection in front of us. Like 4'33" for our attention spans, the video is as much about itself as it is about the unintentional interference we create when viewing it.
Nevertheless, the piece is working on more than just a conceptual level. At moments, characters deliver their lines contiguously enough to hear honesty and humanity in their speech. One of the last lines in the video casts Trecartin's work not just as schizoid and cerebral, but also empowering: "I hope for your sake you’re a good enough visualizer to contain yourself long enough to pump out a few more giggles before you see the button that you are and push it."