Robin Assner-Alvey and Adam Watkins started collaborating together in the summer of 2011, when a curator friend asked them to work on a site-specific video project in response to Laumeier Sculpture Park in Saint Louis, MO. They enjoyed working together but more than that, they felt a similar aesthetic and conceptual bond that continues to drive their collaboration efforts.
Strasse Schlenderm - Vienna, Austria is an enchanting place where one can maneuver in and out of areas seamlessly. Spaces reveal themselves as you travel through the city. This piece is an homage to meandering through the nuances of the architecture and transportation in a city that we love. The visual layers coupled with a simple and repetitive melody line seek to create a sense of wonderment for the attributes of this beautiful place. The viewer gazes into the reflections and drifts in and out of the layers and niches of windows and sound. Drifting into a melodic state of mind seeking a calming interaction. The movements take the viewer on a journey, not only through Vienna, but an excursion to a state of mind and through spaces that allow a separation of self from the rush of the all too familiar real world.
Sweetness and Light - Starting from a perspective of observation and reality, both audibly and visually this piece attempts to transfix the viewer into a heightened awareness of the fragments of life. We take many moments of our life for granted — the turning of the earth, the sunrise and sunset. Because we are so rooted in "the now," we often miss what is actually happening to and around us. The amplification of the everyday and the repetition of the daily on goings is where beauty lies. What would it be like if everyday sounds and images were manipulated and magnified? This work attempts to showcase one moment in time that is completely unique and personal as well as broad and expansive and allows the multitudes to experience the same singular second.
You Cross My Path - This video documents the intricate exploration of a new domestic environment through its surfaces, textures and subtle nuances. Surveying ones surroundings is truly that of discovery and investigation toward a distinct, distant and oft over-looked world. The layering of textural images accompanied by the layering of sounds recorded and manipulated from a similar found environment, creates a visual and aural unity that suggests a journey through time. The building of images on the screen, the fusion of surfaces and sounds intertwine focus, allowing the clarity to move in, out and around. By juxtaposing various textures, both visual and audible, a sense of movement is created and desired by allowing the eye and ear to thoroughly explore this environment. Experiencing these surfaces, textures and spatial relationships in an intimate manner, viewers are left with a sense of synchronized harmony.
Every Corner Abandoned too Soon - This video was created similar to how an abstract painter would build up a painting. The landscape become strokes and patterns layering them on top of each other to create a visual cacophony of texture and image. Every so often there is a reminder of the landscape grounding the viewer by making its way into the frame. The motion sways or rocks the viewer with its meditative quality of motion, but is jarring at times. The images are from spaces that we move through, but don’t inhabit; spaces that links us from one place to another but are always “in between.”
The sound is rooted in minimalism and repetition allowing the audience to reside in the spaces in between the rhythms. It is a direct response to a series of viewings of the Rothko room at Tate Modern in London, which feature the last paintings made before his death originally intended for the Seagrams Corporation. The paintings are dark, cold, rich and intense which ultimately brings a sense of warmth and calm which is the foundation to and what the sounds are built upon.
Together the video and audio complement each other creating a magical harmony that is atmospheric, cold and abandoned, all at the same time. The mesmerizing quality lulls the viewer into a trance that lasts for the duration of the piece.