Geneva Skeen - Dream State Cassette

Geneva Skeen - Dream State Cassette

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From the artist:

DREAM STATE was first composed and performed in residency at LAND AND SEA in Oakland, CA, November 2016. My original intention when accepting the residency had been to make an audiovisual piece in response to Agnes Varda’s Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse––her mixed-media, mixed-documentary work about picking up scraps left behind after perceived value had been harvested. However, the work spun out after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and turned focus toward Varda’s bigger-picture mode of thinking and making––that subjectivity cannot be divorced from the creative output, that reality is what we make of ourselves in it, that a document is just another filter for perception of the world we exist in. My sentiments were dark––that the nature of reality was fracturing. I spent hours in the Bay Area fog, watching gargantuan ships load and unload immense amounts of cargo at the Oakland Port. Everything moving along the same as it had, but heavier and more opaque.

At the time, I described DREAM STATE as such:

“I thought that in making a film… I wouldn’t want to be separate from it, to live in another world.” - Agnes Varda

This is a hard dream to wake up to. This is a hard reality to realize is not a dream.

This new work is made of up of equal parts better described by the work of Agnes Varda, and her glaneurs: “fieldwork; mental activity (gleaning of images, impressions, emotions, information (choses de l’esprit); ethos of pragmatism, altruism, modesty of means and ends, but also disruption and non-compliance; self-portrait (... the one travelling and gleaning images).”

Two years later, I revisited DREAM STATE knowing that my instincts had not altered much, but merely settled and dried like concrete. I sought to finish the work more cleanly, more sharply, to reinforce this idea that nothing perceived is enforceable, nothing sensed is true, paradoxical as it is.

Thanks to Chris Duncan, Jay Jean-Hank Ho, Alex Wolf, Greg Curtis, Gabie Strong, Kim Calder. 

Also thanks to Croatian Amor for sharing stems from Love Means Taking Action, some of which are paired with mirror recordings of my own on these works.

Influenced by écriture féminine, alchemical metaphors, and a range of musical traditions ranging from holy mysticism to industrial, Skeen works with with recordings, digital presets, voice, and mixed instrumentation. Her performances, publications, and installations focus on the contrast between facing the finite resources of our physical landscapes and their infinite digital representations.