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Archive for November, 2009

Cereal

November 20, 2009 By: Asli Category: ISCO

Cereal is a two-channel video installation that was created for the Portrait of… section of ISCO. It is made of two white cereal bowls placed on the opposite ends of a black table with video projected into them. The first bowl has the video of an obsessive cereal ritual; one that involves little pieces of fruits, different kinds of nuts, different kinds of cereal and unsweetened soy milk. The second bowl has a close-up video of a mouth being fed the cereal, in an indefinite loop. One has to walk from one end to another to see the videos inside the bowls.

Two bowls on a table

My intention with this pieces was to portray an obsessive character by dissecting his/her ritual into edible parts. One that involves the meticulous preparation with her hands, and the other that involves the eating/destruction of the prepared food with the mouth. To the left bowl comes the food, from the right bowl it goes. A circle, a repetition that the character will ensue/pursue every morning, every day, without exhaustion. An important component of the happiness of the character becomes a monotony to the viewer soon after she/he discovers that it tells the story of a cereal ritual.

Bowl 1 video.

Bowl 2 video.

The piece wasn’t as successful as I anticipated, because it didn’t really succeed in portraying the character very well. I thought that everyone would point out to the obsessiveness of the character at first glance, but that was a secondary reaction to the piece. It seemed like the setup was confusing to the audience and they didn’t really make much out of it at first. Only after a few minutes of discussion, some of the themes I was trying to play on were mentioned. (the obsession, the coming in & out) The biggest visual improvement I could make to the piece is masking the video so that it is round and it blends into the round surface of the bowls. Conceptually, I could add different morning rituals to the table and perhaps, remove the mouth bowl, as it seemed like it wasn’t very well connected to the piece in terms of conveying the portrait of a character.